The 93rd Academy Awards being the lowest-rated in history with a 9.85 million viewers and a viewership drop of 58% from last year is in line with other pandemic-era major awards shows. The Grammys fell 51% from last year, while the Golden Globes dropped 63%. "But the Oscar results offered a sobering message beyond the pandemic," says The Washington Post's Steve Zeitchik. "Nielsen reported a tiny 1.9 rating among adults 18-49, the demographic that advertisers covet — a steep and worrisome dive for the Disney-owned ABC, which has a contract to air the awards through 2028. Just two years ago, the show brought in a 7.7 rating in the demographic. The viewership drop among 18- to 49-year-olds, which also marks a 64 percent decline from last year, potentially diminishes what ABC can charge for ads in future years. Meanwhile, the overall plunge in viewership could limit the number of people who will then go on to pay to watch a company’s film because they saw it on the show, an established trend. Last year’s big winner, Parasite, saw box office increase by 50 percent after the telecast. Even before covid, Oscar ratings had been in free-fall. Viewership during the 2010s plummeted to barely half of what it had been at the start of the decade. The show in 2010 had garnered 42 million viewers, but by 2020 only 24 million Americans were tuning in. The drops pose the question of whether the Oscars can bring Americans together over a shared love of movies — as it has for many years as the second-most-watched live TV event after the Super Bowl — or a niche event that celebrates an industry and satisfies fans but is not a unifying force in pop culture."