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Oscars Are A Ratings Hit For ABC

Ratings for the Academy Awards were the highest they’ve been in five years. Its believed that the boost has to do with the inclusion of box office hits like Avatar and The Blind Side in the best picture race.

Figures from the Nielsen media research company show an average of 41.3 million viewers watched Sunday’s broadcast from the Kodak Theatre. That’s 14 percent more than last year’s telecast watched by 36.3 million. It was the largest television audience for the Oscars since 2005 which averaged 42.1 million viewers. Seventy million viewers watched at least six minutes of Sunday’s telecast, according to Nielsen.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decided to include 10 films in the best picture category, up from five, after the controversial exclusion of The Dark Knight from last year’s awards. The decision allowed for more popular movies to be included in the ceremony and therefore the race would appeal to a larger audience.

Over the past year, viewership for award shows has been up in general. The Emmys, Golden Globe Awards and Grammys all recorded increases in viewership.

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