Despite the prestige and important of the Oscars within the film industry, the number of people tuning in to view the ceremony may have hit an all-time low based on initial ratings from the US.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the number of viewers dropped 16% from last year, marking the fourth year in a row that viewership figures have declined. Prior to last night the least viewed ceremony in history was in 2008, when No Country For Old Men took home best picture. In contrast, The Shape of Water was the highest grossing best picture winner in five years.

The Oscars have a notoriously long ceremony, this year's lasting close to four hours. The drop in rating may be reflective of an overall change in viewing habits, with people preferring to watch highlights of the speeches rather than sit through the whole event. There wasn't even a boost from people tuning in in the hope another envelope mix-up might occur.

Looks like they may have to rethink the format of the night if they want to attract some of those viewers back, especially when some of the winners can be easily predicted after a long award season.

Irish viewers can watch highlight from the ceremony tonight on RTE 2 at 9.30pm.