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ABC guarantees Oscars ratings thresholds to placate ‘nervous’ advertisers amid declining viewership

ABC guarantees Oscars ratings thresholds for the first time to placate ‘nervous’ advertisers following years of declining viewership, insiders say

  • The 91st Academy Awards will air on ABC on Sunday night at 8pm EST  
  • Deadline reports that broadcast ratings guarantees were offered to long-term advertisers such as car brands, beer companies and consumer technology firms 
  • Insider said: ‘Year after year of declining ratings are getting us to a danger zone’

ABC has guaranteed Oscars ratings thresholds for the first time in an attempt to hold onto advertisers following several years of drastic drops in viewership. 

The guarantees were offered to long-term advertisers such as car brands, beer companies and consumer technology firms, one insider told Deadline.  

‘The Oscars are still a very big deal, but people aren’t stupid, and year after year of declining ratings are getting us to a danger zone,’ the insider said ahead of Sunday night’s star-studded show.

‘We are right on the edge of that danger zone — not close, but on it — and that makes advertisers very nervous.’ 

The decision to include ratings guarantees was reportedly made before any of the missteps, controversies and self-inflicted wounds that have embroiled 2019 Oscar season in recent weeks.  

The Academy of Motion Pictures has suffered a litany of disasters that ranges from aborted plans to introduce a popular film category, an abandoned move to prevent some best song nominees from performing during the telecast, and a misbegotten decision to tap Kevin Hart to host the broadcast. 

ABC has guaranteed Oscars ratings guarantees for the first time in an attempt to hold onto deep-pocketed advertisers following several years of drastic drops in viewership, according to insiders. The guarantees for Sunday night’s broadcast were offered to long-term advertisers such as car brands, beer companies and consumer technology firms (file photo)

Ratings for the notoriously long-winded broadcast have continued to plunge year-over-year, with the 90th Annual Academy Awards in 2018 bringing in an all-time low viewership of 26.5 million, down double digits from the year before. 

One executive hinted that this year’s ratings thresholds are quite conservative, telling Deadline: ‘It’s very unlikely that things will fall so radically this year that they’ll drop beneath those thresholds, but the fact is that there finally had to be such guarantees was a wake-up call to everyone.’ 

Despite insider reports, Disney-owned ABC has denied promising specific ratings numbers for the show, which costs $85million to tape.   

‘The Oscars is one of the most highly sought-out live events in the industry. Historically, we have never guaranteed Oscars, and this year is no different,’ Doug Hochstadt, Revenue and Yield Management for Disney Advertising Sales, told Deadline.   

NOMINEES FOR THE 91ST ACADEMY AWARDS

BEST PICTURE 

Roma

A Star Is Born

BlacKkKlansman

Green Book

Vice

Black Panther 

The Favourite 

Bohemian Rhapsody  

BEST ACTOR

Christian Bale (Vice)

Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)

Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born)

Viggo Mortensen (Green Book)

Willem Dafoe (At Eternity’s Gate)

BEST ACTRESS

Olivia Colman (The Favourite)

Glenn Close (The Wife)

Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born)

Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)

Yalitza Aparicio (Roma)  

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR 

Mahershala Ali (Green Book)

Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)

Sam Elliott (A Star Is Born)

Sam Rockwell (Vice)

Adam Driver (BlacKkKlansman)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk)

Amy Adams (Vice)

Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)

Emma Stone (The Favourite) 

Marina de Tavira (Roma) 

BEST DIRECTOR

Alfonso Cuaron (Roma)

Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman) 

Pawel Pawlikowski (Cold War)

Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite)

Adam McKay (Vice)

DOCUMENTARY

Free Solo

Hale County This Morning, This Evening 

Minding the Gap 

Of Fathers and Sons

RBG

COSTUME DESIGN

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Black Panther

Mary Poppins Returns

The Favourite

Mary Queen of Scots

FILM EDITING

BlacKkklansman

Bohemian Rhapsody

The Favourite

Green BooK

Vice

ORIGINAL SCORE 

Black Panther

BlacKkKlansman

If Beale Street Could Talk

Isle of Dogs

Mary Poppins Returns 

SOUND EDITING

Black Panther

Bohemian Rhapsody

First Man

A Quiet Place

Roma 

 SOUND MIXING 

Black Panther

Bohemian Rhapsody

First Man

Roma

A Star Is Born

PRODUCTION DESIGN 

Black Panther

First Man

The Favourite

Mary Poppins Returns

Roma 

DOCUMENTARY SHORT 

Animal Behavior

Bao

Late Afternoon

One Small Step

Weekends 

ANIMATED SHORT

Animal Behaviour

Bao

Late Afternoon

One Small Step

Weekends

ANIMATED FEATURE 

Incredibles 2

Isle of Dogs

Mirai

Ralph Breaks the Internet

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse  

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM 

Capernaum (Lebanon)

Cold War (Poland)

Never Look Away (Germany)

Roma (Mexico)

Shoplifters (Japan)

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY 

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

BlacKkKlansman

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

If Beale Street Could Talk

A Star Is Born  

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY 

The Favourite

First Reformed

Green Book

Roma

Vice 

MAKEUP AND HAIR

Border

Mary Queen of Scots

Vice

VISUAL EFFECTS 

Avengers: Infinity War

Christopher Robin

First Man

Ready Player One

Solo: A Star Wars Story

 ORIGINAL SONG

All The Stars (Black Panther)

I’ll Fight (RBG)

The Place Where Lost Things Go (Mary Poppins Returns)

Shallow (A Star Is Born)

When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs)

CINEMATOGRAPHY  

Cold War

The Favourite

Never Look Away

Roma

A Star Is Born



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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