The Award Goes To…The Oscars: This Year’s Broadcast Was Ratings Winner, Dominated Twitter

March 4, 2014  |  

It was a winning night all round for the Oscars. Besides the many firsts–such as the first film by a black  director taking home Best Picture (12 Years A Slave) and the first African actress to win “Best Supporting Actress” (Lupita Nyong’o) — the Oscar broadcast pulled in its biggest audience in a decade.

Hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, the 86th Academy Awards on ABC averaged 43 million viewers for its loooong duration, according to Nielsen. It was a six percent jump from last year’s show, which was hosted by Seth MacFarlane and had 40.4 million viewers, reports The Los Angeles Times. In the key 18-to-49 age demographic, the broadcast was largely flat.

The record is held by the 1998 Oscar broadcast, which had 55.3 million viewers, during which the blockbuster Titanic won 11 Oscars, including Best Picture.

There was a big growth in social media attention, thanks to DeGeneres, who tweeted a star-studded selfie.

“At her urging, the resulting post quickly became the most retweeted in the platform’s history, knocking Twitter out of commission for a few minutes. As of Monday afternoon, it had been retweeted nearly 2.9 million times,” reports Variety.

The selfie tweet was done in conjunction with show sponsor Samsung, supplier of the Galaxy Note 3 phone DeGeneres used.  (When she tweeted from backstage, she used an iPhone, however.)

In all, according to Nielsen’s Social Guide, the Oscars 2014 had a whopping 11.2 million tweets from 2.8 million users of the social media site. This was a 75 percent increase in tweets related to the show compared to 2013.

“About 13.9 million people viewed a total of 1.04 billion Twitter TV impressions about the Oscars, which aired on ABC, according to Nielsen’s SocialGuide, which works with Twitter to compile the data,” reports the Hollywood trade magazine. Considered the “Super Bowl for women,” the Oscars were beaten by Super Bowl XLVIII, which generated 1.8 billion Twitter impressions and reached 15.3 million households, SocialGuide estimated.

When looking at Facebook, 11.3 million users had a total of 25.4 million interactions focusing on Oscars during the Sunday telecast. Women 18-to-34 represented the top demo. And according to Facebook, the top social moments while the show was broadcasting were: 12 Years a Slave winning Best Picture; Jared Leto winning Best Supporting Actor and thanking his “high school dropout, single mom”; Matthew McConaughey earning Best Actor; Bette Midler performing “Wind Beneath My Wings”; and DeGeneres having pizza delivered at the theater.

As far as Twitter, the highest-volume Oscar moments were: DeGeneres’ selfie post (10:07 p.m. ET), which had 254,644 tweets per minute; the pizza delivery (10:24 p.m. ET), 158,159 tweets per minute; and Gravity winning its sixth Oscar, for film editing (10:31 p.m. ET), at 135,330 tweets per minute.

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