Viewers will have extra incentive to watch this year's Oscars as ABC has announced their plans to launch a live game during the broadcast with a major cash prize. The 91st Academy Awards airs Sunday, Feb. 24 on ABC.
The play-along game is the latest change surrounding this year's Oscars event. The award ceremony will go on without a host following the scandal surrounding Kevin Hart. Although this won't be the first time without a host, it's certainly a change of pace compared to recent years. Some rumors are swirling that a secret hosting gig is planned, with the name Whoopi Goldberg at the forefront. Aside from the hosting issues, more controversy arose when the Oscars announced the intent to hand out important awards during commercial breaks. The Academy later reversed that decision after much pushback.
As shared by Variety, "The Official Oscar Game" will give viewers the chance to play along while predicting award winners on an interactive ballot. There will also be various trivia questions throughout the broadcast. Players can earn points based on their ballot predictions and trivia answers. Accruing enough points leads to the eligibility for a drawing at a chance to win the grand prize of $50,000.
In order to play the live game, viewers must sign up at oscars.com/game. To become eligible for a chance for the cash prize, players must watch the awards ceremony live and actively answer in real time. In addition to the ballot and trivia questions, the official game promises other exclusive content including a behind-the-scenes look into the event.
The Academy is well aware of the fanfare surrounding predictions and print-at-home ballots. The new game gives viewers a chance to get in on the fun for more than just bragging rights. A hefty cash prize never tends to turn away prospective participators. This also gives viewers a reason to watch the Oscars in full.
It's no secret that the Oscars needed some good PR heading into Oscars night. Considering the recent controversies, the Academy has been receiving much criticism as of late. Launching a fun game for viewers not only provides positive buzz, but it also has the chance to encourage more viewers to watch the event. This also seems like the Academy Awards are going in the right direction in modernizing the ceremony. The gimmicks within the event haven't been working but something like an interactive game might put the Oscars back on track in persuading viewers to catch the show each year.
The 91st Academy Awards air February 24 at 8pm EST on ABC.