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Oscars draw 16.6 million viewers, soaring 58% from last year’s historic low

The 2022 Oscars drew 16.6 million viewers on Sunday, up 58% from last year’s record-low audience of 10.5 million, according to Live + Same Day Nielsen data, which includes out-of-home viewing. The 94th Academy Awards averaged a 3.8 rating in the key adults 18-49 demographic, up 73% from the 2021 telecast. While the year-over-year growth is impressive, it’s still the second-worst viewership and ratings performance in the history of the Oscars.

The show, the first Oscars to have hosts since 2018, was the highest-rated entertainment special in primetime on any network in two years in the key demo, with the previous being ABC’s Oscars broadcast on Feb. 9, 2020. Sunday’s show was the No. 1 primetime entertainment program of the broadcast season to-date, in terms of both viewers and ratings.

Viewership spiked at three notable 15-minute points during the show: “CODA” star Troy Kotsur’s win for best supporting actor, Will Smith slapping Chris Rock, and Smith’s best actor acceptance speech.

In terms of social media performance, the 94th Academy Swards “drove 22.7 million total social interactions, spiking 139% over last year’s broadcast (9.5 million) to become the most social Oscars telecast on record.” It is the No. 1 most social entertainment program of the year to date and the year’s No. 2 most social telecast overall, behind Super Bowl LVI. The awards show garnered 16 million video views across Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Variety

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