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Should the Oscars switch things up for viewer's sake?

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    It seems like every televised event these days is getting the axe. When I say axe, I mean runtime. Major League Baseball is a good example. For the sake of viewership and ratings, the game itself was shortened by cutting corners here and there. Some would argue it was a good move on their part, and that it would bring in more viewers. The jury is still out. When it comes to the Academy Awards, many complaints can be made about not only the length of the show, but the flow of content in general.

    Last year's ceremony was 3 hours and 23 minutes long. 29.6 million viewers tuned in. Which was a 12 percent boost from 2018's numbers. Yet it was still the second smallest audience to date. One main cause is that people prefer to watch the highlights online the next day. That says something. Just to give us some comparison. Back in Titanic's hay day, 57 million people tuned in.

    One way the show could improve is by having exclusive movie content that viewers would have to tune into, such as never before seen movie trailers etc.

    Matthew Belloni, the Hollywood Reporter's editorial director said it well:

    "The fact that the Oscars are so boring is a colossal failure on the Academy's part."

    I agree, I think the Oscars are a bit boring, especially for those who aren't big movie buffs. I doubt general viewers care about who wins Best Cinematography, or Editing. We have 24 categories to get through. Many are categories like I mentioned.

    "It's after midnight on the [US] east coast by the time they get to best picture, and they're running through it to get it done because they're already late. It is crazy."

    He also pointed out that the Academy has been nominating films that fewer people are watching.

    "You don't see as many of the Titanic or Gladiator-style movies that win best picture any more. It's smaller films, films with niche audiences. There's less of an incentive for viewers to tune in, because they don't feel like they have a horse in the race".

    I must admit, I had to make a special effort to watch the majority of the films nominated this year. I can see what he's saying.

    Last but not least, what makes the ceremony drag is the endless line of long-winded 'thank you's' that we have to sit through. This issue is an old one for sure, and a remedy has been attempted many times. One guy won a jet ski for having he shortest speech.

    Organizers last year attempted to remedy this once again by giving awards for categories such as Cinematography and Editing during commercial breaks. It was reversed because Spike Lee and Martin Scorsese complained.

    Something should be done. The Oscars will continue to lose viewership if they don't change with the times. Advertisers are leaning towards social media more and more every year. It's just a matter of time until they'll have to make changes. Does anyone else agree? Or am I jumping to harsh conclusions here? What other steps could be taken to remedy the issues this ceremony has?

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    Guess it depends what you like about the show if you watch it. For me its all the awards. I don't think they should do awards off camera. Instead of giving cinematography awards off screen I would rather they do away with the musical numbers. I might be the minority here but I find them the most boring and least interesting part of the Oscars. Once they do a song I take that as a queue that I have 10 minutes or so of a break until something interesting happens. TV typically goes on mute until they are done.

    Don't get me wrong, some of the performances are pretty good and I'll actually watch. But if you are looking to cut fat that's where I would start. That's like 4-5 songs x 3-10 minutes per. Minimum of 12 minutes plus commercial break of 3 minutes or so, so 15 minutes really. Max of like 45 minutes. Yeah. Cut the songs. Gain a good half hour of run time.

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    Good point. The musical numbers are quite long and boring at times. I still think there are too many awards to go through. 3 hours is way too long for an awards ceremony on TV.
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    Apparently there were 14 musical performances at the 2020 Oscars. That's pretty absurd. People joking its turning into Grammy's.. yeah basically it is. I think they feel live performances get people to watch. But I think they would be way better off with cutting all that and making the montages and clips longer for whatever is nominated.