Report: Oscars Viewers Tuned Out After Hour One

Viewership of the 2016 Academy Awards was down 6% this year to 34.3 million viewers, and a large chunk of those viewers didn’t bother sticking around for the whole show, according to a new report.

Rovi Corp. analyzed viewership trends by owners of U.S. pay TV set-top boxes that use Rovi's interactive program guide software, and found that concurrent viewership never passed 42% of the total number of viewers who tuned in to the linear broadcast.

Viewership peaked after the first hour with host Chris Rock’s opening monologue being the major draw for most viewers. And on average, 3.5% of viewers surfed elsewhere during commercial breaks. When the final awards came around, only 32% of the total number of viewers who tuned in to the broadcast were still around.

“This year it appears interest in Chris Rock’s commentary about the Oscars eclipsed many of the most popular awards, even Best Actor,” said Michael Hawkey SVP and GM of discovery for Rovi. “Despite all of the buzz around whether or not Leonardo DiCaprio would win his first Oscar, Rovi’s data shows that while his trending popularity soared, it wasn’t enough to hold the audience’s attention and keep them tuned in until the very end of programming.”