EXCLUSIVE: The Academy Awards will be breaking new Web ground this year. We have learned that for the first time, ABC and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will make the full Oscar telecast available for streaming in the U.S. on Monday across multiple platforms. They include ABC.com, the ABC Player app, Hulu, Hulu Plus and some of Hulu’s official distribution partners, including ShareTV. The Oscars will be available to stream beginning tomorrow morning at 6 AM EST through Wednesday, Feb. 27 at midnight EST. Disney-ABC co-owns Hulu, having joined NBCUniversal and News Corp. in the online venture in 2009. This is the first time a major TV awards show is being made available online in its entirety.
Highlights from tonight’s 85th Academy Awards already will be available to watch online faster than ever. Oscar.com will put up buzzed-about musical performances, acceptance speeches and jokes almost instantly after they air live on ABC tonight. (You can watch them here.)
The live telecast remains the top priority for ABC as importance of televised live events that people want to watch in real time continues to grow in a DVR-dominated TV universe. It is ABC’s highest-rated telecast, and the network sold out this year’s Oscar ad inventory at $1.7-$1.8 million for a 30-second spot, the highest prices in five years.
UPDATE 9 PM: ABC just issued a release confirming our story:
For the first time, viewers in the U.S. will be able to stream tonight’s Oscars show in its entirety across multiple platforms including ABC.com, the ABC Player app and the free, ad-supported Hulu and Hulu Plus subscription service. The show will also be available via ABC On Demand, the network’s fast forward-disabled VOD service.
The Oscars, in its entirety, will be available to stream within hours of its broadcast completion, beginning Monday, February 25 at 6:00 a.m., ET through Wednesday, February 27, at midnight ET.
“Tonight’s show included remarkable performances that will surely have people talking. This is an easy, convenient way for anyone who missed the show to catch up and join the conversation,” said Karin Gilford, Senior Vice President of Digital Media, ABC Entertainment. “It’s also perfect for anyone who just wants to relive the most magical moments of the night.”
“Our goal is to give fans as many ways to enjoy and engage with the Oscars as possible, and this will provide another great opportunity for them,” said Christina Kounelias, the Academy’s Chief Marketing Officer.
The streaming will be advertiser supported with :15 or :30 video spots running intermittingly from Blue Diamond, Diet Coke, Hyundai, JC Penney, Samsung and The University of Phoenix.
Additionally, during the telecast, Oscar.com offered a plethora of “Real Time Oscar Highlights” to viewers almost instantly after they debuted on the live broadcast. Those special moments from telecast, as well as numerous highlights from the Red Carpet and backstage during the show, are currently available on the show’s official site, Oscar.com.