Awards revenue took a sharp hit in the last fiscal year at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, but rebounding investment income boosted finances even as viewers turned away from the Oscar show, according to the Academy’s annual report.
Awards-related revenue declined 10.8 percent, to about $117.7 million from $131.9 million, in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2021, according to the report, which was posted Saturday on the Electronic Municipal Market Access bond-monitoring Web site.
The revenue decline came as viewers for the April 25 Oscar broadcast on ABC fell 56 percent, to about 10.4 million, from 23.6 million a year earlier. Awards revenue, after rising annually for decades, had drifted in recent years; but last year’s decline was unusually steep. Total awards revenue fell short of some $120 million in guarantees the Academy had earlier reported due for the ceremony from ABC and others. In an accompanying document, the Academy said the shortfall reflected a one-time reduction in the amount owed by ABC for domestic television rights. The document described the ABC reduction as amounting to 1.2 percent of the total guarantee due under its domestic TV contract from 2020 through 2028, but didn’t give a precise figure.
But the Academy’s income from a $709.2 million investment portfolio rose almost 14-fold, to $70.3 million from $5.1 million, making up for the awards decline, and then some.
Awards-related expenses rose only slightly for the year, too $42.9 million from about $42 million a year earlier, notwithstanding the cost of Covid-related measures and a shift in location to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles.
The Academy’s total assets grew about 6.7 percent, to $1.43 billion from $1.34 billion, according to the report.
Though membership rolls were sharply expanded in the previous few years, combined income from member dues and theater rentals fell slightly in fiscal 2021, to $3,979,000 from $4,073,800 a year earlier.
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