Oscars: ITV to broadcast film awards after Sky drops coverage – BBC

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ITV have picked up exclusive UK rights to Hollywood’s Oscars after a 20-year deal between rightsholder Disney and Sky ended last month.

ITV said it was a “multi-year” agreement which kicks off with next year’s event on 10 March.

The channel will be hoping to improve on a general trend of dwindling viewing figures for awards ceremonies.

As a free-to-air channel, this may be easier than it was for Sky, which is pay-per-view.

Sky broadcast the Oscars on its free-to-air channels – Sky Arts and Sky News – for the first time earlier this year.

But only around 35,000 people tuned in live on the main Sky Cinema channel in 2023, just over half the viewership of 2022, according to Screen Daily.

Most media companies are looking to make savings at the moment against a backdrop of streaming losses, an advertising slump and Hollywood strikes.

Sky had owned the rights since 2004. Prior to that, the Comcast-owned company had alternated with the BBC to broadcast the ceremony.

Darren Nartey, senior acquisitions manager for ITV and ITVX commented: “We are thrilled to be able to exclusively bring the Oscars to film fans all across the UK.”

All parties concerned will be hoping the Hollywood writers’ and actors’ strike will have been resolved long before the 2024 awards, with this year’s Emmys forced to push their ceremony back from September to January.

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