Sunday’s Oscars TV ratings rose to 18.7 million

Sunday’s Oscars TV ratings rose to 18.7 million

By Lisa Richwin

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Academy Awards telecast on Sunday drew some 18.7 million U.S. television viewers to the film industry’s highest honor, according to data released Monday by Walt Disney Channel’s ABC broadcaster.

ABC said audiences were up 12% from last year, when 16.7 million people watched it. On that show, Will Smith slapped presenter Chris Rock before winning Best Actor.

This year’s ceremony marked a resurgence in movie attendance, with several of the nominees, including “Avatar: The Way of Water” and “Top Gun: Maverick,” huge hits in cinemas. The “everything everywhere at once” multiverse adventure took home Best Picture and dominated the awards.

While the Oscars audience increased from last year, it was the third-lowest audience ever for the ceremony. Viewership for many award ceremonies has declined in recent years as audiences abandon traditional television for live broadcasts and social media.

ABC said Sunday’s awards were the subject of 27.4 million interactions on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. The Academy Awards was also ranked as the top trending topic on Twitter worldwide throughout the broadcast.

The highest-rated Oscars telecast took place 25 years ago, when mega-hits “Titanic” swept the honors. More than 57 million people tuned in that year.

In 2021, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oscars ratings hit an all-time low with 10.5 million viewers. (Reporting by Lisa Richwin; Editing by Jonathan Otis)

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