Many Fox News viewers turned against the Hollywood elite on Sunday night, helping to drive down ratings for the Oscars, according to a report by analytics firm Samba TV.
Samba TV did an analysis of which heavy cable news watchers didn’t tune into the Oscars this year, after watching in 2016, and found that 48% were Fox News viewers, 30% were CNN viewers, and 15% were MSNBC viewers.
This changed the makeup of the Oscars audience, Samba TV found. The 2016 audience was 46% Fox News viewers, 32% CNN viewers, and 16% MSNBC viewers. But for 2017, it was 45% CNN, 23% MSNBC, and 30% Fox News.
In all, according to Nielsen ratings data, 32.9 million people watched the ABC broadcast. That’s compared to the 34.4 million viewers who watched last year’s broadcast. So total viewers dropped by 4%, but in the advertiser-coveted 18- to 49-year-old demographic, there was 14% drop in ratings year-over-year.
“New viewers are showing up to the Oscars, but not enough to replace all the Fox News people who are tuning out the celebrities,” Samba TV CEO Ashwin Navin told Broadcasting & Cable.
Hollywood has had a contentious relationship with President Trump, and has often seemed to be in open war with him since he took office. Trump and acting legend Meryl Streep have exchanged barbs, with Trump declaring her “one of the most over-rated actresses” in a tweet, after Streep lambasted him in a Golden Globes speech.
At the Oscars, host Jimmy Kimmel took repeated shots at Trump, and even tweeted at him at one point during the broadcast.
It’s good to note, however, that politics can’t entirely explain the ratings drop. Not only has there been ratings pressure on many live TV “must-see” events, like the Olympics and the VMAs, but the Golden Globes, which felt equally antagonistic to Trump, saw an uptick in ratings this year.
Additional reporting by Jethro Nededog.