Oscars: Canadian Ratings Hold Up Well, Peak at 7.34 Million

Malcolm Taylor/Getty Images
Ben Mulroney

CTV maintains that viewership was up despite red carpet host Ben Mulroney calling the event "an epic failure" on-air and panning James Franco and Anne Hathaway.

TORONTO – Canadian Oscar host Ben Mulroney may have bitten the hand that feeds Sunday by branding the 83rd Academy Awards telecast "an epic failure" on-air.  Even so, CTV's Oscar telecast north of the border held up impressively, compared to last year's dramatic Avatar vs. The Hurt Locker showdown.

Preliminary BBM Canada ratings indicate 6.1 million Canadians tuned in to CTV’s feed of the ABC telecast Sunday, compared to a final count of 6.2 million that watched the 82nd Academy Awards a year-earlier. BBM Canada will report final audience figures for Sunday's Oscar telecast in a few weeks. 

The last two years also marked a big jump from the 4.47 million Canadians that watched the 2009 Academy Awards telecast. The Canadian audience also grew during the broadcast Sunday, clocking in at at 6.37 million viewers during the final half-hour from 11 p.m. CTV reported viewership peaked at an average 7.34 million Canadians at 10:30 p.m.

The strong Canadian audience for the Oscars came despite CTV red carpet host Mulroney harshly criticizing the ABC telecast in post-show comments to CTV National News. "I've just never seen a more boring show. I just haven't,” Mulroney told a CTV news anchor after interviewing stars on the red carpet outside the Kodak Theatre in the second position, just behind ABC, and in front of E!’s Ryan Seacrest. A night’s sleep didn’t soften Mulroney’s criticism, as he panned Oscar co-hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway during an appearance on CTV’s Canada AM morning newscast. “I don’t know whether he (Franco) was doing a schtick, but he looks like he might have been phoning it in,” he commented. “And Anne Hathaway looked a little earnest for my taste,” Mulroney added.