About 26.5 million viewers tuned in to watch the 2018 Academy Awards on Sunday night, a 19 percent plunge from the previous year’s ceremony. While ABC’s broadcast of the awards show still beat out the competition on Sunday night television, this year’s ceremony was the least-watched Oscars to date, and the first with a viewership below 32 million, preliminary Nielsen ratings show. The broadcast averaged an 18.9 household rating, down from last year’s 22.4 rating—which was already a nine-year low. Award shows have seen a steady decline in TV viewership in recent years, but the latest drop has some questioning whether the ceremony’s predictability or the recent injection of political and social issues is to blame.
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