IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Photos and text from wire services and predicts winners of big awards.
“The true glut of media that we have out there nibbles at the viewership base of the awards shows,” O’Neil said.
Television viewership in general is going down, with more people attracted to streaming services where they can watch programs without commercials and on their own schedules. Young people, in particular, increasingly prefer watching highlights on their devices than shows that stretch past three or four hours. Even Super Bowl ratings have slipped the past few years.
Networks have tried to fix those problems for their shows in general, not just awards shows, without much success. One retired network executive questions whether that trend could be reversed.
“Short of full-frontal nudity, I don’t know what they could do,” he quipped.
The bad performances of the Grammys and Oscars can’t be explained simply by those factors, however. The Golden Globes audience of 19 million in January was 5 percent down from 2017, a decrease roughly on par with what most programs see these days. The Emmy Awards audience of 11.38 million last fall was slightly up from the year before, Nielsen said.
In this file photo, host Jimmy Kimmel speaks at the Oscars in Los Angeles.