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Around 3.3 mn Indians watched Oscars on TV
This is nearly 3 per cent of India's cable and satellite TV viewers.

About 3.3 million cable television viewers in India watched music composer AR Rahman receive his two Oscar awards (during both live and repeat telecasts) at the 81st Annual Academy Awards on Star Movies on Monday, the best-ever viewership figures for the channel in the past 10 years.

This is nearly 3 per cent of the total number of cable and satellite TV viewers — an extremely good number, considering past coverage data — say media planners.

"In previous years, less than 1 per cent of viewers watched the live telecast of the Oscars. This year, it’s almost three times that number, taking into account viewers for both live and repeat telecasts," says a senior executive in a leading Gurgaon-based media agency.

According to the latest viewership ratings data provided by the Mumbai-based overnight ratings agency, Audience Measurement and Analytics (aMap), nearly 1.4 million viewers watched the live telecast on Star Movies from 6:30 am to 10 am on Monday morning. Another 1.9 million tuned in to the repeat telecast on the channel later in the evening.

Amit Varma, CEO, aMap, says: “Clearly, the nation was celebrating, as the viewership of the live telecast of the Academy Awards more than doubled this year to 1.3 million plus, almost a 128 per cent jump over last year's numbers. The spell lasted till the repeat telecast on prime time, where the audiences neared 2 million — an increase of over 50 per cent over last year."

Star Movies, according to sources, made nearly Rs 1.7 crore from the sponsors and spot-bookings. "About 5,500 seconds of advertising time was sold at a premium to the advertisers. Plus, there were 11 sponsors for our special 'Oscar Fever' telecast," said a senior executive of Star Movies.

The magic of Slumdog Millionaire, which bagged eight Oscars, also resulted in an over 13 per cent jump in viewership in the US market. According to the preliminary Nielsen estimates, 36.3 million viewers watched the Academy Awards telecast compared to 32 million in 2008, the smallest audience for Oscars in the US in the recent past.

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