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[02/23/09 - 10:45 AM]
ABC's Broadcast of "81st Annual Academy Awards" Qualifies as Television's Most-Watched Entertainment Telecast in 2 Years
ABC spins the numbers for Sunday, February 22.

[via press release from ABC]

ABC's Broadcast of "81st Annual Academy Awards" Qualifies As Television's Most-Watched Entertainment Telecast in 2 Years

"Oscars" Jump Year to Year by 4.2 Million Viewers and by 13% in Adults 18-49, Generating Across-the-Board Gains and Surging by 22% Among Men 18-34

ABC's "Academy Awards" Outdraws Other Major Awards Shows This Season by Wide Margins, Including the "Emmys," the "Grammys" and the "Golden Globes"

"2009 Oscars" Reach 67.56 Million Unique Viewers Across the United States

The "81st Annual Academy Awards" (8:30-11:25 p.m.)

ABC's broadcast of the "81st Annual Academy Awards" attracted an average audience of 36.3 million Total Viewers and posted a 12.1 rating among Adults 18-49, based on Nielsen's "Fast National" ratings. The "81st Annual Academy Awards" registered as TV's most-watched entertainment telecast of the 2008-09 TV Season, surpassing the No. 2 telecast by 5.9 million viewers ("American Idol-Tuesday" season premiere on 1/13/09 = 30.4 million). In fact the "Oscars" registered as television's most-watched entertainment telecast in 2 years and highest-rated among Adults 18-49 in 1 year - since 2/25/07 and 2/12/08, respectively.

* Year to year, the "Oscars" gained 4.3 million viewers (36.3 million vs. 32.0 million) and grew 13% in Adults 18-49 (12.1 vs. 10.7). The awards show was up across the board demographically (all key Adults/Men/Women), registering its biggest increase over last year among hard-to-reach Men 18-34, jumping by 22% (8.9 vs. 7.3).

* ABC's "81st Annual Academy Awards" (36.3 million) towered above other awards shows this season, topping the 2008 "Emmy Awards" by 24.0 million viewers (12.3 million), the 2009 "Golden Globe Awards" by 21.4 million viewers (14.9 million) and the 2009 "Grammy Awards" by 17.3 million viewers (19.0 million).

* ABC's "81st Annual Academy Awards" reached 67.56 million unique television viewers across the U.S. - unduplicated Viewers 2+ watching 6-minutes or more during its telecast.

"Oscar's Red Carpet 2009" (8:00 - 8:30 p.m.)

With "Oscar's Red Carpet 2009" pre-show, ABC pulled in 24.3 million viewers and a 7.2 rating among Adults 18-49 from 8:00-8:30 p.m. Versus last year, the "Oscars Red Carpet" pre-show increased by 2.8 million viewers and by 13% in Adults 18-49 (2008 = 21.5 million viewers & 6.4 rating in Adults 18-49).

"Barbara Walters Special" (7:00 - 8:00 p.m.)

ABC's telecast of "Barbara Walters Special" drew an average audience of 11.6 million viewers and delivered a 3.2 rating among Adults 18-49.

"Oscar.com"

With more interactive features and video content than ever before, "Oscar.com" saw major year-to-year increases on "Oscar" Sunday, with unique visitors and page views up 57% and 87%, respectively. Users spent an average of 11.63 minutes on the site per visit, a 15% increase compared to last year.

A note about increasing DVR penetration and year-to-year rating comparisons: Year-to-year rating comparisons based on the Live + Same Day data stream are distorted by the level of DVR penetration in the Nielsen sample, which has jumped up to 30% currently, from 23% at the same point in 2008. More viewers are watching shows on their own timetables, which may not be reflected in the overnight next day numbers. The only truly valid year-to-year comparison would be one based on the Live + 7 Day metric, once those stats are released by Nielsen.

Source: Nielsen Media Research (Live + Same Day Fast National Ratings) - 2/22/09. Online "Oscar.com" usage figures based on data from Omniture.





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