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ABC’s presentation of the 82nd Annual Academy Awards continued broadcast’s award-show-ratings winning streak, marking the annual program’s most-watched telecast in five years.
The Oscars were seen by 41.3 million viewers, and marking a second straight year of gains.
Given that the Golden Globes, Emmy Awards and Grammy Awards all posted ratings improvements this season, industry analysts expected the Oscars to climb as well — especially with 10 nominees in the running for best picture, including boxofficetitan “Avatar,” which lost the best picture prize to little-seen indie favorite “The Hurt Locker.”
A dispute between an ABC affiliate and Cablevision resulted in the telecast starting 15 minutes late for up to 3.3 million viewers in the New York City-area, with many households doubtless taking longer to realize the channel was back on. Researchers say the confusion and delay should have only minimally impacted ABC’s ratings.
The Top 5 highest-rated markets were Chicago (37.6), West Palm (33.3), Boston (33.2), Kansas City (32.8) and San Francisco (31.8). ABC’s red carpet pre-show drew 25.1 million viewers, the show’s largest audience in three years. The final Barbara Walters special pulled 15 million viewers, its biggest audience since 2002.
Here are Oscar ratings for the past five years in total viewers (millions).
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