Oscars can wait for Greenwich Mean Time viewers

Sky Movies says three times as many watch next-day highlights as stay up for live awards

Julianne Moore, who is expected to win the Oscar for Best Actress this weekend for her role in ‘Still Alice’. Photograph: Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett

Julianne Moore, who is expected to win the Oscar for Best Actress this weekend for her role in ‘Still Alice’. Photograph: Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett

 

Sky Movies is rolling out the red carpet once more this weekend as the UK and Ireland rights holder to live coverage of the Academy Awards ceremony, but the time difference between here and Hollywood guarantees that it’s a bleary-eyed affair.

“The Oscars is very important for some of our viewers,” Sky Movies director Ian Lewis said on a recent trip to Dublin. However, the number of people who watch the highlights package in a 9pm slot the following evening – on the more widely available Sky Living as well as Sky Movies Oscars – is typically about three times the number that stay up late to watch the awards given out live.

This year’s ceremony, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, begins at 1.30am in the very early hours of Monday morning and wraps up some time before 5am, sparking the usual complaints about predictable winners, flat speeches and misguided wardrobe choices.

Film fans overly familiar with the witching-hour Oscar sponsorship stings of recent years for LVMH champagne brand Moët & Chandon – somnolent in their own right – may be pleased that Sky Movies has a new sponsor this year (fashion house Ariella).