The Number of Oscar Viewers Reaches 15 million, Exceeds Last Year’s Achievement

Television viewership for this year’s Oscars has increased slightly from record lows reached last year, but it looks like the show definitely doesn’t have as much audience appeal as it once did.

The event, which was held on Sunday (27/3), was watched by about 15.36 million viewers, according to Nielsen’s preliminary calculations released by the ABC television network on Monday (28/3). A more detailed forecast is expected on Tuesday (29/3), adding elements such as outdoor audiences.

“CODA” won best picture at the awards show, but all the winners and losers of film were overshadowed by the incident involving best actor award winner, Will Smith, that night. Smith stormed the stage to slap comedian Chris Rock for making a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

Held in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of spectators at the Oscars in 2021 only reached around 9.85 million viewers. That led to several changes to this year’s Oscar show, including adding a host and awarding eight categories before broadcast and editing them into live shows.

While the changes seem helpful, the 15 million viewership achieved is still far below the 23.6 million Oscar viewers in 2020. As of last year, it was the lowest number of viewers for an Oscars event.

Nielsen does not yet have a more specific number of viewers for the event which was held on Sunday (27/3). Research firm Samba TV said its statistics showed an increase of about 1.5 million families watching the Oscars after the Smith-Rock incident occurred compared to before.

Audience numbers for live television shows, with the exception of NFL football matches, have declined over the years as the service emerged stream. Some Hollywood watchers believe the lack of appeal to many of the Oscar-winning films has also limited viewership. [my/rs]