Sunday, February 27, 2011

Academy Awards: Who Will Win? How Many Will Watch?

The Award Show season is in full swing, and if history runs true to form this Sunday’s telecast of the 83rd Annual Academy Awards will be one of most-viewed programs of the year.

Viewership for other major award shows in 2011 has increased from previous years, which might give a boost to this year’s Oscar telecast. Last year, with a shoot-out between Avatar and The Hurt Locker, the Academy Awards captured an audience of 41.7 million viewers – the largest in five years.

“The increased viewership for awards shows coincides with the recent trend towards larger audiences for live events,” said Pat McDonough, Senior Vice President for Insights and Analysis at Nielsen. “Watching live events, such as an award show or sporting event, allows the viewer to feel closer to the action and generates a greater appeal to watch. Moreover, simultaneously using Twitter and other social media to follow the event helps enhance the experience even more.”

The Academy Awards

Year Total Number of Viewers Best Picture

2010 41,699,000 The Hurt Locker

2009 36,310,000 Slumdog Millionaire

2008 32,006,000 No Country for Old Men

2007 40,172,000 The Departed

2006 38,939,000 Crash

Source: The Nielsen Company. P2+ viewership, based on live + same day data

The Golden Globes and the Grammy Awards have also seen a steady increase in viewership over the past three years.

The Golden Globes

Year Total Number of Viewers

2011 17,003,000

2010 16,982,000

2009 14,860,000

2008^ 6,038,000

2007 20,036,000

2006 18,765,000

^Golden Globes Press Conference only due to Writers Guild of America, West strike.
Source: The Nielsen Company

The Grammy Awards

Year Total Number of Viewers

2011 26,667,000

2010 25,869,000

2009 19,048,000

2008 17,182,000

2007 20,058,000

2006 17,005,000

Source: The Nielsen Company

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