The annual Academy Award telecast is a financial juggernaut for the ABC television network, which has worked behind the scenes to ensure that the program has commercial appeal that goes well beyond the art-house crowd.
Last year, more than 39 million viewers tuned into the Oscar show -- a healthy number after several years of viewership declines. Social media helped to create more buzz around Hollywood's glamorous event.
Advertising sales for the 85th Annual Academy Awards already have been robust with the Walt Disney Co.-owned network garnering substantial rate increases over last year. ABC is fetching as much as $1.85 million per 30-second spot for next month's show, according to two people familiar with the negotiations.
The network has nearly sold out its advertising inventory for the telecast -- a particularly brisk pace for ad sales, these people said.