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Research Recap of 2008 Academy Awards Released

Posted by Mort Greenberg on March 6, 2008


Research Recap of 2008 Academy Awards Released

Nearly 94% of the 32 million Americans who watched this year’s Oscars watched the live telecast – but some 2 million recorded the event on DVR and watched it later in the same evening, according to Nielsen, which released a research recap of the event.

Viewer Demographics

Of the Academy Awards viewers…

  • 86% were white.
  • 7% were Hispanic.
  • 7% were African-American.

8.2 million households watched the Awards within the 10 largest US markets:

  • New York ranked the highest with a household rating of 29.7.
  • Chicago (28.5) and San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose (27.2) followed.


  • ABC aired nine promotional announcements spanning 3:50 mm:ss. Seven of these were for primetime programs.
  • There were 43 national advertisements (see Academy Awards Commercial Listing).
  • There were 23 minutes of total commercial time, down from 24 minutes in 2007.
  • L’Oreal and Coca-Cola tied as the top advertisers with 8 spots, 3:30 mm:ss commercial time each, followed by General Motors and JC Penney (5 spots, 3:00 mm:ss each):


  • JC Penney’s American Living Home Furnishings advertisements, at 10:14 pm and 9:48 pm, were the No. 1 and No. 2 highest-rated commercial minutes of the show:


Online Traffic

  • Traffic to Yahoo’s Oscars website ( went up 201% on post-Oscars Monday, to 2.3 million unique visitors (from 751,000 on the day of the telecast).
  • In 2007, there were 3.3 million unique visitors to Oscar-related sites during the day after.
  • Online conversations about the event increased immediately after the telecast on Feb 24, until 1.5% of all blog posts were referring to the event in some way:


Award Predictions

The 600 Americans surveyed by the Hey! Nielsen opinion network made correct winner predictions for most categories of the Academy Awards:


But they were surprised by…

  • Marion Cotillard’s Best Actress victory – not Ellen Page’s (Juno), as 32% had predicted
  • Tilda Swinton’s win in the Best Supporting Actress category
  • Best Documentary Oscar’s going to Taxi to the Dark Side – not Sicko, as 37% had predicted

About the data: The Nielsen Company gathers its research from its marketing (ACNielsen), media (Nielsen Media Research), and online intelligence (Nielsen Online) units.


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