Oscar Ratings Are Bigger But Not Biggest
Once again demonstrating that live network specials can vastly overcome DVR recording and competition from cable and the Internet, the 82nd annual Academy Awards presentations averaged a whopping 39.24 million viewers, giving it a 12.5 rating and a 30 share -- an 8 percent boost from the Oscars' 2009 ratings, according to overnight Nielsen figures. However, the ratings were down slightly from 2007, when the telecast counted 40.17 million viewers. And they were clearly outshined by the 1998 Oscar telecast -- the year of Titanic 's triumph -- when 57.25 million tuned in. Earlier in the evening, Barbara Walters' final Oscar special captured 20.97 million viewers -- an 82-percent increase over last year's special -- which led in to a half-hour red-carpet feature that drew 31.6 million viewers.