Academy Awards Ratings Set New Record Low, 2.9 Million Under 2018

By Craig Bannister | February 10, 2020 | 3:18pm EST
(Getty Images/Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

The ratings for Sunday’s Academy Awards Oscars broadcast smashed the Oscars’ previous all-time low by nearly three million viewers.

Even the headline-grabbing Red Carpet appearance of a gay, male transvestite actor wearing a Baroque-inspired skirt and train and gold feathered sleeveless bodice with matching gold platform heeled boots couldn't keep the Oscars from losing six million viewers from last year.

After four straight years of decline, culminating in a then-record low viewership of 26.5 million in 2018, the Oscars’ ratings rose by about three million viewers in 2019 to when the ceremony stopped having a host. But, ratings plummeted six million viewers in 2020 to just 23.6 million, Variety reports:

“The 2020 Oscars ceremony was watched by the smallest audience the awards show has ever received.

“23.6 million viewers tuned in on Sunday night to see “Parasite” sweep to a surprise victory. That’s a 20%, 6 million viewer drop-off from last year. The Academy’s second hostless show in a row scored a 5.3 rating among adults 18-49 in the fast national ratings, a 31% dip from 2019.”

But, the Oscars aren’t the only entertainment awards to experience declining ratings. The Emmys, Golden Globes and Grammys have also suffered losses, Variety reports:

“The Oscars join the Emmy Awards in suffering steep ratings declines. The September 2019 Emmy broadcast on Fox fell by 32 percent in viewers and 29 percent in adults 18-49 from the previous year. By comparison, the declines for January's Golden Globes (off by 4 percent in viewers and 10 percent in the 18-49 demo) and Grammys (down 6 percent in viewers, 4 percent in the demo) were fairly slight.”

A 2018 Media Research Center-sponsored poll by McLaughlin & Associates foreshadowed this year’s record-low audience. As reported, the survey revealed that viewers were turning off awards shows because of their political preaching:

  • 74% of likely voters say they watch live sports and entertainment shows, like the AMAs, “to get away from politics and do not want to be bombarded with partisan political messages,” and

43% say they’re less like to watch such shows because they’ve gotten too political.

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