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Why are fewer people watching award shows?

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You may not remember who won best picture at the 2022 Oscars, but you’ll probably never forget when a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith led her husband, Will Smith, to slap Chris Rock at the ceremony.

While the moment broke a YouTube record of 50 million views in a single day, the entire 2022 Oscar ceremony only received 16 million viewers, the second-lowest number in history for the academy.

Live televised award shows have been losing viewers for years.

From the 80s to the early 2000s, the Academy Awards reached around 40-50 million viewers each year.

The Grammy and Emmy awards averaged around 20 million views every year, and the Golden Globes typically averaged around 15-20 million viewers, since NBC picked up the awards in 1996.

But just last year, viewership totals for all four major award shows plummeted to a fraction of what they once were. It’s a decline trending in the wrong direction. The reason, according to industry experts, is a major shift in viewership behavior and the rise of streaming services.

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