Earliest numbers show awards telecast beat the other four broadcast networks combined.
Based on Nielsen’s Household Metered Market ratings in 55 U.S. markets, ABC’s Academy Awards telecast last night averaged a 27.1 household rating/ 40 share in the overnight metered markets (from 8 to 11:30 p.m.). ABC reported the numbers for the entire evening of primetime (7-11 p.m.) which included the Oscar pre-show had the network beating the combined results of the other four networks by 35%—22.9/34 vs. 16.8/25 for CBS, NBC, Fox and WB).
The telecast started a half-hour earlier than in past years and the numbers were lower than the last two, but higher than in 2003—30.1/43 in 2005; 29.8/43 in 2004; and 25.5/37 in 2003.
The top five-rated markets for the Academy Awards were New York (36.5/51), Chicago (33.2/47), San Francisco (31.7/51), Philadelphia (31.7/46) and Atlanta (30.7/43).
The Oscar telecast grew in metered market household rating during each half-hour until it peaked around 10:30 and then leveled off in its final hour:
8 p.m. = 23.9
8:30 = 25.9
9 = 28.0
9:30 = 28.1
10 = 28.3
10:30 = 27.9
11 = 27.6
ABC has ordered true “fast national” ratings from Nielsen scheduled to be delivered by approximately 3 p.m. ET today, with total viewer and adult 18-49 numbers (the network said the usual fast affiliate ratings are inaccurate for live events like the Oscars).