2018 Oscars Viewership Analysis


Corey Rice
Content Marketing Strategist
Feb 28, 2018

The 90th Academy Awards aired Sunday evening, and Samba TV was measuring trends and insights on viewers that tuned-in for a broadcast which stretched across more than four hours. Essentially all live TV tentpole events are experiencing drastic year-over-year viewership decreases, and this year’s Oscars broadcast was no different. It’s also worth noting there were limited streaming options made available to viewers in just a handful of metro areas: Chicago, Fresno, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Raleigh-Durham and San FranciscoAccording to Samba TV data sourced from our proprietary visual ACR, 2018 Oscars viewership was down 29% over last year. There’s many theories as to why the Oscars continue to lose viewers: broadcast length that stretches well into late night (Best Picture was given at 11:45pm EST); more awards going to lesser-known films (The Shape of Water drew just $57M at the box office and was still the highest-grossing Best Picture of the past five years); an increasingly political slant to jokes, speeches and overall tone of the event.ABC still benefitted from the tentpole halo effect – more than half of Oscars viewers watched ABC’s red carpet pre-show, and nearly 20% stayed tuned-in to ABC after the Oscars for Sundays With Alec Baldwin.

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