US & Canada

Oscars 2018: US TV audience smallest for awards ceremony

Guillermo del Toro with the Best Director Award and the Best Picture Award for "The Shape of Water" on 4 March 2018 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water won the most Oscars

The Oscars Awards ceremony attracted its smallest recorded US television audience.

The live show averaged 26.5 million total viewers, down from 32.9 million in 2017, according to Nielsen data reported by the ABC network, which broadcast the event.

However, these figures do not include digital and mobile viewing.

The 90th edition of the Oscars was still expected to be most-watched non-sporting US television event of 2018.

Despite the reported fall in viewing figures, prices for advertising slots on US networks rose significantly.

Media analysts say that advertisers spend significant amounts on shows that bring in live audiences as they are more likely to watch commercials than those viewing shows or events that have been recorded.

The Oscars ceremony has been broadcast since 1953, while audience figures date back to 1974.

The Shape of Water, a film about a woman and an amphibious creature, won the most Oscars with four, including best director for Guillermo del Toro and best film.

Frances McDormand won best actress for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and persuaded every female nominee to stand with her in a night full of statements about inclusion.

Britain's Gary Oldman was named best actor for playing Winston Churchill in World War Two epic Darkest Hour.

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