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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