The Associated Press reported that this marked the first time Oscar viewership dropped below 30 million people. Since the beginning of Nielsen TV audience ratings in 1974, yes. The broadcast also comfortably outmatched ratings for the other major awards shows this year, including the The Golden Globes, which reached 19m viewers in January and the Grammys, which managed 19.8m viewers last month.
This is not a one-year downward blip, either.
The most watched Oscars in history were in 1998.
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Experts say the connection between high box office grosses and high viewership is more than coincidence. "Every year, I watch all the Oscar nominated movies with three of my friends and each of us makes his own winning list".
Although the show generally stayed away from overt attacks on the Trump administration - a frequent target for Hollywood - the political nature of the Oscars ceremony may have alienated some viewers as well, industry watchers said. "That's a function of our fragmented media landscape".
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The low ratings can be chalked up to a few different factors.
The Fox Searchlight movie's Mexican film-maker, Guillermo del Toro, won best director, dashing the hopes of a rare win by a woman or a black film-maker.
The war epic "Dunkirk", directed by Christopher Nolan, gathered Oscars for sound mixing, sound editing and film editing.
Despite the dip in viewership, the Academy Awards can keep bragging rights over other awards shows. Who, in your opinion, should have been awarded, yet wasn't? In January of previous year, as president-elect, Trump called Meryl Streep "one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood", after Streep criticized Trump in a speech at the Golden Globes.
Hollywood's biggest night saw historically low ratings for ABC.
Kimmel responded by saying, "Thanks, lowest rated President in HISTORY." LOL! We rate Trump's statement True.
Moving the ceremony up to 8pm on Sunday on ABC - a half-hour earlier than its 8.30pm slot - did little to aid the show's rapidly declining audience.