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ABC Wins Big by Streaming The Oscars Online For the First Time, Sets New Landmark For the Future.

ABC Wins Big by Streaming The Oscars Online For the First Time, Sets New Landmark For the Future.

by Stephen BrownFebruary 25, 2013


The Academy Awards by tradition is one of the most staunch and  “old school” of entertainment enterprises.  Well Known for its “good ole boy”  conservatism, the Oscars board has resisted the internet and technology for a long time (Side Note) only just recently adding awards categories for CGI, 3D, and Animated work. If you watched the Oscars last nite, there were alot of  untasteful jokes and comedy bits  that gave the show a negative vibe , but one thing that was a huge success was ABC Streaming the Oscars for the first time online. ABC advertising which has been in a rut lately, sold out its ad inventory at $1.7 million-$1.8 million for a 30-second spot – the highest prices in the last five years and only rivaled by the superbowl.

At 6 AM ET, the Oscars became available on ABC.com, in the ABC Player app on iOS, on Hulu and the subscription-based Hulu Plus, as well as on ABC’s VOD service, ABC On Demand.

This is not only the first time the Oscars show has been made available online in its entirety, but  it’s the first-time any major TV awards show has. So regardless of what you thought of the show’s actual content, be aware at least that we’re looking at a precedent-setting moment here for how TV, streaming and on demand services may work together in the future for major TV events like this. Streaming advertisers include Blue Diamond, Diet Coke, Hyundai, JC Penney, Samsung and The University of Phoenix. Samsung was a particularly big Oscars sponsor, taking over seemingly nearly every commercial break with those Zombie Unicorn ads (yes, look it up).

Although the next-day airing is ground-breaking for awards TV, ABC chose not to live stream the Oscars online, which would have been a better fit for a show like this – where it’s about finding out who won right away, just as much as it is seeing the awkward bits fail in a day-after viewing. But the network at least tried to engage the online audience to some extent with real-time video highlights posted to Oscar.com during the broadcast.

It’s a transitional period for broadcasters who are trying to figure out how they want to manage their shifting audiences, who are now watching online in greater numbers, without cannibalizing their TV ad sales.ABC’s next-day decision follows that of CBS’s to live-stream the Super Bowl for the second year. Because the number of TV viewers dwarfs that of online viewing for now (in Super Bowl’s case, 2 million watched NBC’s 2011 online broadcast, versus 100 million on live TV), networks have time to experiment before the impacts to their bottom lines are really felt.


For anyone that  missed the Oscars on TV last night can catch the entire show online.

As of 3 a.m. PT this morning, the full awards ceremony has been available for streaming through several outlets, including ABC.com, the ABC Player app for iOS, the free Hulu site,Hulu Plus, and ABC On Demand.

The streaming Oscars will be available only until this Wednesday at 9 p.m. PT. The online version will also offer its fair share of commercials. But the ads will be short and sweet — 15 to 30 seconds in length.

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About The Author
Stephen Brown
Stephen Brown @SteveBTech is a Technology Entrepreneur, & Int'l CES Judge. Along with being the founder of DigiLyfe, and Nubby.co, he is the founder of DigitalAfro.com, & StemStars.org an organization that teaches K-12 Students Science & Technology.

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