Preliminary results for ABC’s "90th Academy Awards" indicate a massive 20% decline in viewership from a year ago.
The early reading of this year’s telecast pulled 26.5 million Nielsen viewers, down from 33 million a year ago.
The previous record of 32 million was set in 2008.
This year’s show also pulled in a preliminary 6.4 rating for 18-49 viewers -- down 26% from last year’s early reading of an 8.7. That number rose to a final 9.1 rating among 18-49 viewers.
National TV advertising inched up to $109 million from $107 million in 2017, according to iSpot.tv. This year, Cadillac aired five spots. WalMart, Verizon and Samsung Mobile each had three airings.
ABC ran nine on-air promo spots, which included two for the new “American Idol” and an overall ABC network brand spot.
While the overall TV viewing numbers were down, ABC did take credit for besting the other two big award shows this year: the 2018 “Grammy Awards” pulled in 19.8 million viewers on CBS, while the 2018 “Golden Globes Awards” had 19 million on NBC.
ABC says the Oscars broadcast pulled in a total of 23 million interactions, with Twitter getting 48%; Facebook, 28%; and Instagram, 24%.