This weekend, I shared a story about a downturn in advertiser confidence in TV. Earlier this month, the news focused on whether the writers' strike would cause more viewers to hit the off button. And today, AdAge.com published a story showing more evidence of TV's troubles. A sample:
Last night's Oscars drew the fewest viewers in more than 30 years, reaching an average of approximately 32 million...The question is whether the downturn was due to an overall decline in TV viewership, or a lack of interest in this year's crop of Oscar candidates, as AdAge suggests:
[V]iewership figure fell far short of the 40.2 million viewers who tuned in last year... And the total viewer turnout for the glitzy event was the lowest since 1974.
The Oscars is one of the most-watched--and, for advertisers, most expensive-- programs on TV. ABC was seeking as much as $1.82 million for a 30-second spot this year, representing an approximately 7% increase over last year's top price of $1.7 million...The program also was being watched as a potential barometer of the health of broadcast TV, as it was the first big event to air on a traditional broadcast network since the resolution of the months-long writers strike.
When small, independent films hold sway, the audience tends to dwindle. This year's big nominees included smaller films such as "Juno," "There Will Be Blood" and "No Country for Old Men." When "Titanic," a big blockbuster, won Best Picture in 1998, about 55.2 million people tuned in...I have to confess that I've never been a fan of Awards shows, so my lack of interest was nothing new. But how about you? Did this year's slate of nominees make you less (or more) likely to watch?