Awards' 2-11 age group rating jumps 98%

NEW YORK — The “Titanic” phenomenon that boosted the March 23 Academy Awards telecast to ABC’s highest ratings in 15 years, also caused dramatically more kids, teens and young adults to tune in.

While the Oscars’ 34.9 household rating was a 27% increase over last year’s show, according to Nielsen Media Research, the increases in younger viewer demographics was even more impressive. The Academy Awards 2-11 age group rating was a 98% jump compared with 1997, the 12-17 rating was a 71% boost and the 18-24 rating was a 72% increase over last year, according to an analysis of the ratings data by Grey Media.

These results caught the attention of Grey Media’s research team because the ad agency buys media time for one of the largest stables of advertisers that target young viewers. Grey’s clients include Hasbro, M&M Mars, Reebok, Six Flags and Warner Bros.

“While there was phenomenal growth across the board for the Oscars, the growth was driven by young viewers,” said Dene Callas, Grey’s senior VP and group media director. “Even though you think of this as an adult viewing event, if you give them youthful stars, kids will watch in large numbers. If you give them Leo, Matt and Kate, they’re going to watch.”

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