Oscars: Russian TV Audience Hits Multiyear Low

MOSCOW, RUSSIA -A general view of Red square and Kremlin-Getty-H 2016
Oleg Nikishin/Epsilon/Getty Images

Only 3.9 million people watched the broadcast of the event, as opposed to 6.6 million a year ago.

Not only the U.S. ratings for the Academy Awards declined this year. The Oscars broadcast on Russia's top free-to-air network Channel One generated the lowest ratings for the awards in Russia since 2014.

The taped international version, which aired about 24 hours after the Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles, was watched by only six percent of the total TV audience over four years old, which corresponds to 3.9 million people.

That compares with 6.6 million, or 10.2 percent, last year. In 2015, the viewership for the Oscars came to 5.1 million, and in 2014, the first year the ceremony was aired as a taped international version in Russia, as opposed to a live broadcast in previous years, 5.8 million people watched the Oscars.

A representative for Channel One declined to provide explanations for this year's low ratings of the broadcast. Apparently, the mix-up over the winner in the best film category, which was played up heavily by the Russian media and discussed by social media users, failed to attract extra interest to the show.

Observers have said that not many people knew about many nominated films this year. Of the big winners, La La Land had a wide theatrical release and took in $5.5 million, while Moonlight only had a limited release in September 2016 and grossed $38,000.

From 2004 to 2013, Channel One aired the Oscars ceremony live. In 2014, a previously scheduled live broadcast was canceled due to tensions in neighboring Ukraine, and since then, taped versions have been aired.