The Academy Awards is Hollywood’s most anticipated event of the year. This year in particular, there was a lot of talk about Chris Rock’s opening monologue as well as Leonardo DiCaprio’s Best Actor nomination. Everyone was wondering the same things: How would Chris Rock address the #OscarsSoWhite movement? Would Leonardo DiCaprio finally win his first Oscar? Despite all the buzz surrounding these topics, viewership for the Oscars actually decreased. With just 34.3 million viewers (3 million, or 8% less than last year’s hosted by Neil Patrick Harris), the Oscars’ viewership stayed relatively low in comparison to the past.

Let’s take a look back at the last 15 years:

2016: 34.3 million viewers. Best picture: Spotlight. Host: Chris Rock
2015: 37.3 million viewers. Best picture: Birdman. Host: Neil Patrick Harris
2014: 43.7 million viewers. Best picture: 12 Years A Slave. Host: Ellen DeGeneres
2013: 40.3 million viewers. Best picture: Argo. Host: Seth MacFarlane
2012: 39.3 million viewers. Best picture: The Artist. Host: Billy Crystal
2011: 37.9 million viewers. Best picture: The King’s Speech. Hosts: Anne Hathaway & James Franco
2010: 41.3 million viewers. Best picture: The Hurt Locker. Hosts: Steve Martin & Alec Baldwin
2009: 36.3 million viewers. Best picture: Slumdog Millionaire. Host: Hugh Jackman
2008: 32.0 million viewers. Best picture: No Country For Old Men. Host: Jon Stewart
2007: 40. 2 million viewers. Best picture: The Departed. Host: Ellen DeGeneres
2006: 38.9 million viewers. Best picture:  Crash. Host: Jon Stewart
2005: 42.1 million viewers. Best picture: Million Dollar Baby. Host: Chris Rock
2004: 43.5 million viewers. Best picture: Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King. Host: Billy Crystal
2003: 33.0 million viewers. Best picture: Chicago. Host: Steve Martin
2002: 41.8 million viewers. Best picture: A Beautiful Mind. Host: Whoopi Goldberg
2001: 42.9 million viewers. Best picture:  Gladiator. Host: Steve Martin

(Source: Neilsen) 

Sunday’s Academy Awards hit its lowest viewer turnout since 2008. In addition to viewership decline, the Oscars is also faced with a decline in ratings.

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