Variety is reporting that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has decided to lift their long-standing ban on movie trailers during the Oscar broadcast and is going to allow each studio one spot, and the spot must also be one that has not yet run anywhere else. This is an excellent strategy in an attempt to bolster ratings.
Set to air on February 22, 2009, the Academy is now probably hoping studios will promote new trailers for such upcoming blockbusters as Watchmen, The Wolfman, Star Trek, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Angels and Demons, Terminator Salvation, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince or G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra which would certainly increase the number of eyes on the broadcast. However, studios are going to have to also consider the likelihood of the audience watching the broadcast. Nielsen’s report on the 2008 Oscars read as follows in terms of demographics:
Of course, should The Dark Knight get nominated for Best Picture and the promise of new trailers for fanboy related films be in place I think the Academy could count on swinging those demographics more toward the 18-25 year old male age group. Then again, perhaps they will broadcast trailers aimed at the audience that regularly tunes in. Who knows, but this could be a big help for the ratings should studios buy into it.