The US television audience for the Academy Awards dropped to a record low of 9.85 million viewers on Walt Disney Co’s ABC, according to preliminary Nielsen data.
That represented a 58 per cent decline from last year’s final tally which showed 23.6 million people tuned in for the film industry’s highest honours.
The slide in viewership reflects a trend among live awards shows.
TV audiences for September’s Emmys and the Grammy Awards in March also drew their lowest audiences ever.
Ratings for the Golden Globes in February fell 60 per cent from a year earlier.
Hoping to draw viewers while adhering to pandemic safety measures, this year’s producers tried a few new things.
The awards were broadcast for the first time at a historical train station in downtown Los Angeles in a more intimate setting with only nominees and their guests.
But the ceremony has been criticised for being extremely dull compared to years gone by, with very little drama and almost no controversy.