Samba TV: The Oscars Telecast Viewership Increased 32%

While the 94th Academy Awards may be remembered for Will Smith’s physical assault of comedic presenter Chris Rock, the March 27 event also saw a return of television viewers — long before “the slap” in the middle of the telecast.

The Oscars realized more than 11.5 million viewers on ABC, up 32% from 8.7 million who watched the show in 2021, according to Samba TV, which tracks an addressable footprint of 46 million opted-in devices worldwide.

Samba said the single-highest-reaching ad was Hulu’s spot for “The Dropout,” which reached 6.1 million U.S. households during the Oscars. Hulu had two of the top three ads, with a spot for “The Girl From Plainville” reaching 6 million households.

ABC was the highest-reaching advertiser during the Oscars, reaching 9.5 million U.S. households, as expected given that it hosted the event. Verizon followed closely behind with a reach of 9.4 million. Hulu (8.9 million), Bank of America (8.1 million), and Disney (8 million) rounded out the top five highest-reaching advertisers.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Analyst: ‘CODA’ Oscar Win Could Boost Apple TV+ Subscriptions, Content Spending

Apple’s surprise Best Picture win for CODA at March 27’s 94th Academy Awards was more than a breakout moment for company’s Apple TV+ subscription streaming service. It could help jumpstart subscriber interest in the service, according to Dan Ives, analyst with Wedbush Securities, who characterized the win a “drop the mic moment” he contends would help drive SVOD subs and attract more Hollywood creatives to the platform.

While Apple has never officially disclosed SVOD subscriber data, Ives believes the platform, which launched a week before Disney+, has about 25 million paid subscribers, in addition to 50 million global users who access the platform via promotions that include a free 12-month subscription to anyone buying an Apple product.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“We view this Oscar win as a game changer for Apple on its content efforts and legitimizes the Apple TV+ as a major streaming platform with much more success ahead and the Street now starting to take more notice,” Ives wrote in a March 28 note.

The analyst believes Apple is spending about $7 billion annually on content, a tally that is half the size of Netflix’s annual content budget. That figure could increase following the success of CODA, which takes its title from the acronym for “Child of Deaf Adults.” The movie features Emilia Jones as the title CODA.

Co-star Troy Kotsur won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, a first for a deaf male actor.

Oscar-Nominated Documentary ‘Writing With Fire’ Due on DVD April 26

The Indian feature Writing With Fire, nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary, will be available on DVD April 26 from Music Box Films.

In the film, reporting from a social environment built to divide based on caste and gender, a fearless group of journalists maintain India’s only women-led news outlet. The women of Khabar Lahariya (“Waves of News”), all from the Dalit (“untouchables”) caste, prepare to transition the newspaper from print to digital even though many of their reporters don’t have access to electricity at home. Armed with smartphones, chief reporter Meera and her team of investigative journalists confront some of India’s biggest issues — exposing the relentless discrimination against women and amplifying the voices of those who suffer from the oppressive caste system.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The film chronicles the astonishing determination of these local reporters as they empower each other and hold those responsible for injustice to account.

Bonus features include “Firemaking: The Story of Writing With Fire,” a filmmaker Q&A from the DOCNYC premiere, deleted scenes and the theatrical trailer.