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Oscar Telecast Sells Out Advertising Slots Despite Historically Low Award Show Ratings

Oscar Telecast Sells Out Advertising Slots Despite Historically Low Award Show Ratings

ABC has sold out the available advertising slots for Sunday’s Academy Awards telecast, even though ratings on entertainment awards shows have been plummeting and this year's gala event will be significantly scaled down.

Red Carpet Clients: The upcoming broadcast has generated $129 million in advertising revenue, along with an extra $21 million for the pre-show red carpet parade of Hollywood stars in their designer finery, according to coverage in Variety

Variety cited unnamed “people familiar with the discussions” in reporting that ABC, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS), sought around $2 million for a 30-second ad slot.

The advertisers include General Motors (NYSE: GM), which will spotlight its Lyriq electric vehicle; Alphabet’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google, which will feature employee Tony Lee, a child of deaf parents who uses the company’s products to communicate with family; and Expedia (NASDAQ: EXPE), which will encourage viewers to renew their traveling in a post-pandemic environment.

Other advertisers that will pop up in the breaks between the award presentations are Airbnb (NASDAQ: ABNB), Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), GlaxoSmithKline plc (NASDAQ: GSK), Kellogg Company (NYSE: K) and Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX).

Related Link: Chinese Moviegoers Help 'Avatar' Regain All-Time Box Office Championship

If You Show It, Will They Watch? Last year’s Academy Awards telecast, which was produced before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the country, generated the lowest ratings since Nielsen began tracking the numbers in 1974.

But the Oscars are hardly alone when it comes to a shrinking television audience. Variety noted last month’s Grammy Awards, February’s Golden Globes Awards and last September’s Emmy Awards recorded the smallest audience numbers in the respective histories of the programs. 

The pandemic is also complicating the production of the Oscars show. This year’s telecast is scheduled to be held at Los Angeles’ Union Station with only nominees, their guests and presenters in attendance, while some segments of the show will originate from Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre.

Unlike the Golden Globes, this year’s Oscar nominees must be present to receive their honors and will not be allowed to accept their awards via Zoom Video Communications Inc (NASDAQ: ZM).

Further complicating the equation are the nominees themselves, which are mostly smaller productions lacking A-list box office superstars.

Some star power will be seen among the presenters: the telecast will not have a host, but instead will use a rotating slate of audience favorites including Brad Pitt, Harrison Ford, Reese Witherspoon and last year’s Oscar winners Joaquin Phoenix and Renee Zellweger.

Related Link: Oscar-Nominated Documentary Being Auctioned As An NFT

(Image courtesy Walt Disney Television.)


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