Oscars up almost 10%

The CTV audience peaked during Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper's duet.

No host? No problem. Audiences for CTV’s broadcast of the 91st Annual Academy Awards reached a per-minute average of five million viewers, up 9% from last year.

That’s according to preliminary overnight Numeris data provided to MiC by a rep for Bell Media.

Total reach for the ceremony was 11 million. The broadcast reached its peak at 10:03 p.m., when 5.8 million Canadians tuned in to watch Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper perform “Shallow” from A Star is Born.

The rise in viewership comes after a steep decline last year, when Canadian audiences fell 18% (U.S. audiences dropped by a similar amount). Despite last year’s drop, Canadians have showed far more loyalty toward the ceremony than their neighbours to the south. In 2017, the ceremony’s AMA stayed flat from 2016, which saw a 6% lift. And 2015 saw a 6% drop from the previous year, however 2014 proved to be one of the top years for the ceremony in Canada.

The show drew a mix of cheers and jeers from critics; many praised the slightly tighter run-time of the show, which did not have a host, and acceptance speeches from the likes of Olivia Colman, Spike Lee and Canadian filmmaker Domee Shi drew positive attention as well.

There was, however, controversy and criticism leading up to the ceremony, largely due to the indecisiveness around the host following Kevin Hart’s ousting, as well as the Academy’s since-rescinded announcement that it would include a popular film category. Many film critics have also panned the awarding of Green Book as best picture.

The lift in views for the Oscars trumped what has thus far been an underwhelming awards season in Canada – overnights for both the Golden Globes and the Grammys dropped this year.