Oscars Slip 6 Percent to 8-Year Low in Early Ratings

“Spotlight” took the top award, but Leonardo DiCaprio owned the night

Leonardo DiCaprio Oscars Revenant Best Actor
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The 88th Academy Awards dipped 6 percent on Sunday, marking an eight-year low.

The Chris Rock-hosted event earned a 23.4 household rating/36 share from 8:30 p.m. ET to midnight. That very preliminary rating ties what the show got in 2009 — the last time overnight numbers were this soft for an Oscars broadcast. In 2008, the special settled for a 21.3 household rating.

The 2015 Oscars telecast averaged a 25.0 household rating/38 share in the 56 metered markets measured by Nielsen — a double-digit-sized tumble. That show dropped 10 percent from 2014, hitting a four-year low at the time.

In the advertiser-sought 18-49 demographic, the year-ago Academy Awards delivered a 14.2/36 per Nielsen’s local people meter. When the fast national numbers were in, the 87th Oscars received a 10.8 rating in the main demo.

Unfortunately, as the reporting day went on, those numbers worsened. The Neil Patrick Harris-emceed Oscars eventually settled for 36.6 million total viewers in 2015, down 16 percent year over year.

We’ll find out around 3 p.m. ET today how many eyeballs 2016 ended up with.