LOS ANGELES: The ABC telecast of 90th Academy Awards for American audiences attracted the fewest viewers from the time such records have been maintained, according to data released by Nielsen.
A record low 26.5 million people watched Sunday night's telecast, a nearly 20 percent drop from last year, reports nytimes.com.
It also represents a startling drop as recently as four years ago, the Academy Awards had an audience of 43.7 million viewers.
The previous record low was in 2008 when 32 million viewers watched a hastily organised ceremony that proceeded just days after the Writers Guild of America's strike had ended.
Moving the ceremony up to 8 p.m. on Sunday on ABC -- a half-hour earlier than its 8:30 p.m. slot -- also didn't help.
"The Shape of Water" emerged as the big winner with four honours at the 90th Academy Awards ceremony, including Best Picture.
The stars mostly stayed away from the industry's concerns over US President Donald Trump administration (a contrast from a politics-heavy Golden Globes and Emmys), though it did emphasise the #MeToo and Time's Up movements.
The show was aired in India on Star Movies and Star Movies HD, but there was no clarity on behalf of the channel about ratings that the gala generated in the country.
According to nytimes.com, ratings for live award shows have plummeted in the last six months. The Grammys saw a quarter of its audience plunge in January, and the Screen Actors Guild Awards similarly saw a 30 per cent drop.