Oscars' 2014 Ratings Beat Everything the Past Decade Except Sports

The 86th Academy Awards drew 43 million viewers

Oscars, TV ratings, best, 10 years
In which Benedict Cumberbatch photobombs U2 at the Oscars Photo via the Academy on Instagram
Marc Hogan WRITTEN BY
Marc Hogan

The Oscar for Best Original Song went to Frozen's indomitable "Let It Go," but the people behind the Academy Awards must be feeling a bit like Pharrell right now. Last night's ceremony attracted the most eyeballs of anything on TV besides sports since 2004, according to Entertainment Weekly. Members of the Academy, clap your hands.

A reported 43 million people tuned in to the Ellen DeGeneres-hosted event, which coincidentally or not had a somewhat deeper lineup of music-related nominees than in recent years. That's 14.5 million more viewers than the 2014 Grammys and 22.1 million more viewers than the Golden Globes. It's also the third straight annual ratings increase for the Oscars. Some perspective: Outside of sports, the last thing on TV bigger than last night's Oscars was the 2004 Friends finale.

Twitter's mid-show outage was no joke, either: According to EW, Nielsen data show 11.2 million tweets about last night's Oscars amid a 75 percent year-to-year rise in overall social media activity.

Still, that "non-sports" disclaimer is pretty important. This year's Super Bowl halftime show, with Bruno Mars and Red Hot Chili Peppers? Oh, just about 115 million viewers. Beyoncé last year? A lowly 110.8 million. Okay, so the jocks win this round, but maybe a little bit of that athletic magic would rub off on the arts community if someone could hire name-pronouncer-in-chief John Travolta to cover the next Olympics.

Revisit this year's Oscar performances from Pharrell Williams, Karen O and Ezra Koenig, U2, and more.

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Now Playing
  • 1 Valentino Khan — Make Some Noise " 03:43
  • 2 The Range — Rayman " 03:34
  • 3 Twin Peaks — Strawberry Smoothie " 02:24
  • 4 Jessie Ware — Share It All " 04:18
  • 5 Rustie — Attak (feat. Danny Brown) " 03:01
  • 6 M.I.A. — Gold " 01:48

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