The Academy Awards, similar to the Super Bowl, used to be one of those annual events that would attract large crowds around television sets so that audiences could marvel over celebrity fashions, argue over underserved Oscar winners, and – in general – celebrate the year in film. But times change, and technology changes with it. The way we view television now is completely different from, say, 10 years ago… and the Academy is altering its approach to the Oscars to meet the needs of its audience.
According to a story in USA Today, the 86th annual Academy Awards will be the first telecast in history that will stream live online and on mobile devices, meaning that you can watch the ceremony – hosted by Ellen DeGeneres – through the WATCH ABC app. WATCH ABC is "available for subscribers to participating pay-TV providers online and through the WATCH ABC app on your iPhone or Android device," according to the paper, and this is the first time they will carry the Oscars. However, in order to access the service, you must have "a cable subscription through Comcast, Cablevision, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Midcontinent Communicaitons, Verizion FiOS, Google Fiber or AT&T U-Verse in either New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham or Fresno."
That seems limiting. It’s progress beyond years past, when NO element of the live show was available to streaming patrons. So I guess it’s a start. The Academy also says that viewers outside of those admittedly large target areas will have access to a "second screen experience" dubbed The Oscars Backstage, which will offer three channels of content focusing on behind-the-scenes content happening during the awards telecast. Tune in to the Backstage area and you’ll be able to choose from a Thank You Cam, the Winners Walk and the Audience and Press Room, as well as the live telecast (in some areas). The Oscars Backstage Experience will be hosted by entertainment reporter and film critic Ben Lyons, ABC World News contributor Hitha Prabhakar, PEOPLE Magazine's Peter Castro and Good Morning America's Chris Connelly. Video highlights from the Oscars Backstage and live telecast will be available on demand almost immediately after they air at oscar.com/blogs.
Where you might see something as awesome as this!
You, of course, will want to watch the Oscars with us here at CinemaBlend! We plan to host our annual Oscar chat, running from the Red Carpet ceremonies all the way through the end of the show… which should conclude by Tuesday morning, guaranteed.
We have been prepping you for the Oscars all year, breaking down the major categories, and making impassioned speeches on behalf of (or possibly against) this year’s nine Best Picture candidates. We’ll find out who triumphantly takes the stage on Sunday, March 2, beginning at 7 p.m. EST. How will you watch the Oscars this year?