LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Some 34.3 million Americans watched the 2016 Oscars ceremony on Sunday, the smallest TV audience in eight years, according to national ratings data.
Broadcaster ABC Television said the telecast was, however, the most-watched TV awards show of the year.
The 2016 audience was the second-lowest on record for an Oscars ceremony. The least-watched Oscars on record was in 2008 when about 32 million Americans tuned in.
The low numbers came despite the presence of Leonardo DiCaprio, who won his first Oscar, and anticipation about how host Chris Rock, who is black, would address the furor over an all-white line-up of acting nominees.
Last year's Oscars telecast, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, was seen by 36.6 million Americans, the smallest audience in six years.
Repeat telecasts of the 88th Annual Academy Awards will air on HBO (StarHub TV Channel 601) on March 2 (9pm), March 4 (10.30pm) and March 6 (4pm).