Ratings for “The Oscars” Were Lower in 2018? Should We Ask Why or Look for Longer-Term Trends?

As I blogged about yesterday, things went well at the Oscars… or, at least, no errors were made in the announcements. But that thing that didn’t go well was the TV ratings.

Two Data Points Are Not a Trend
The headlines I saw had a lot of two-data-point comparisons. Headlines sometimes gave the percentage decrease in viewers or how many million fewer viewers there were. Many talked about “record low” but if you’re tracking a metric “record low” or “all-time high” doesn’t mean there’s a “special cause.” That “record low” could still be noise in the system.