The lead up to the 2016 Oscars was rife with controversy, and while the claim has been made time and again that all publicity is good publicity, it appears that wasn’t the case for this year’s awards show.

Fewer people watched last night's (February 28) Chris Rock-hosted Oscars than they did last year’s awards show — which already had abysmal ratings, following what appears to be an annual decrease in viewership. With around 34.5 million viewers, the 2016 Academy Awards rank as the second-lowest rated ever, according to a report from The Hollywood Reporter.

Nielson reports that the show averaged a rating of 23.4 percent among households, which is six percent less than 2015’s Oscars, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris.

This year’s Oscars did, however, fare slightly better than 2008’s Jon Stewart-hosted show — with a mere 32 million viewers it ranks as the lowest Academy Awards ever on record.

It remains unclear as to whether the majority of viewers decided against watching the 2016 broadcast as a way of protesting Hollywood's glaring lack of diversity, the way certain celebrities opted out of attending for similar reasons, or if interest in the Oscars has simply waned significantly over the years.

And although the show is down overall among viewers, it did see a significant 20 percent increase among men ages 18-34 as well as an improved six percent among men 18-49.

See Photos From the 2016 Vanity Fair Oscars Party

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