Oh no! Despite successfully avoiding an awkward envelope mix-up and delivering on the exciting promise of awarding an $18,000 jet ski to the winner who made the shortest speech, the 90th annual Academy Awards ceremony is going down as the least-viewed Oscars ever.
Per Variety, a preliminary report from Nielson showed that the 2018 Oscars only averaged an 18.9 household rating (covering 70% of U.S. TV households) between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. To put things into perspective, that’s a 16% decline from the 22.4 rating generated by last year’s event. The last time the Oscars garnered this low a rating was way back in 2008 when it only scored a 21.9.
In the fast nationals, the nearly four-hour telecast brought in a 6.4 rating in adults aged 18 to 49, which roughly translates to a mere 24.4 million viewers. That statistic is down significantly from last year’s 9.1% and 32.9 million viewers. Other big events like the Golden Globes, Grammys, and Super Bowl met a similar fate.
An updated figure put overall viewership over the four or so hours at 26.5 million, making these Oscars the least-viewed ever.
As far as awards shows go, the 2018 Oscars was particularly uneventful.
There were only a handful of noteworthy moments, including but not limited to 1) Jordan Peele nabbing Best Original Screenplay, making him the first black screenwriter to do so, 2) the powerful Frances McDormand acceptance speech, and 3) Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph’s presentation, which has people thinking they should host the Oscars someday, and #same.
The low ratings actually aren’t a surprise.
Even before the Oscars went on air, it was already reported that millennials (a huge chunk of the viewing demographic) don’t really care about awards shows. In a poll conducted by The Tylt, 78.1% of millennials expressed disinterest toward awards shows, while only 21.9% actually embrace them. This is partially due to the general slump in TV viewership, with most people resorting to watching on-demand content. There is also a large number of people ditching their cable boxes in favor of live streaming events on the web.
Now, if only the Oscars were streamed on a more modern platform, *cough* Netflix and YouTube *cough*, then maybe it could clinch higher ratings. Academy, are you listening?