Oscar Telecast Draws 5 Million More Viewers

ABC’s Academy Awards telecast Sunday night drew an average 41.3 million viewers, 5 million more than last year, making it the most-watched (non-sports) entertainment telecast in five years, according to the Nielsen ratings released by the network.

It’s the second year in a row that the audience for the Oscars has increased, reversing what had been a steady decline for nearly a decade, according to Nielsen.

The format of this year’s event was altered to include 10 Best Picture nominees, up from the usual five, in the hope that more viewers would be drawn to the telecast.

Meanwhile, with more marketers paying attention to online chatter about their companies and products, research firm Alterian tracked the buzz about Oscar advertisers — both positive and negative — in the month leading up to the telecast. Film companies did particularly well, with CBS Films, Walt Disney Pictures and Summit Entertainment all scoring above average in positive buzz.

Almost 32 percent of the conversations for CBS Films, for example, were interpreted as positive, while just over 4.4 percent of the chatter surrounding that company was considered negative, per Alterian. By comparison, all advertisers in the show averaged about 16 percent positive buzz and just over 5 percent negative chatter. (The rest was interpreted as neutral.)

Apple and Microsoft also both scored above average on Alterian’s positive buzz index, while Coca-Cola, Intel and JC Penney scored below average.

Penney was the only advertiser tracked in the Alterian study to post a double-digit percentage of negative chatter leading up to the program, with 23 percent of the conversations about the retailer reported to be unfavorable.

See also: “Are You Talking to Me? – Barbara Lippert’s Oscar Critique”