Early ratings data for Sunday’s Academy Awards broadcast show Oscar hit a 7-year low and a 6.4 percent drop in household viewing from the comparable figures for last year’s bomb.

Nielsen data showed Oscar averaged a 23.4 household rating in 56-city overnight sample, down from an initial 25 rating of last year’s fail, which was down from 27.9 the year before. Ouch.


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The Chris Rock-hosted show, which used Hollywood’s lack of diversity as its narrative engine, appeared to set a seven-year low.Among the probable reasons for the decline: Black viewers, upset about a second year of all-white acting nominees, may have tuned their televisions elsewhere; Mr. Rock in recent years has been relatively absent on big and small screens; the majority of the nominated films were not widely seen by mainstream audiences; and political moments — and there were many of those on Sunday — have historically turned off viewers. h/t nytimes

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More accurate ratings data will be available on Monday afternoon, ABC said.