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A dearth of eligible blockbusters and the ongoing secular shift in media consumption patterns conspired to put the squeeze on TV's most formidable awards show, as ratings for ABC's Sunday night Oscars broadcast appear to have fallen to an all-time low.

According to preliminary Nielsen data, the primetime portion of the 90th Annual Academy Awards averaged 24.4 million viewers and a 6.4 rating in ABC's most inclusive demo, which translates to around 8.2 million adults 18 to 49 years old.

And while those early numbers suggest that the 2018 Oscarscast will take its rightful place among the year's top 20 most-watched broadcasts, Sunday night's show is all but certain to shake out as the lowest-rated Academy Awards ceremony in TV history.

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