THE OSCARS drew 32 million viewers, the lowest since 1974. That’s a 20% drop from last year’s 40 million viewers. This year’s broadcast averaged an 18.7 rating and a 29 share, compared to last year’s 27.7 rating and 42 share. The falloff is being blamed on the dark nature of the top films, such as No Country for Old Men’s focus on a psychopathic killer. The Super Bowl performance proved that upbeat, exhilarating content can still draw record-breaking audiences.

NBC UNIVERSAL‘s biometric DVR studies have yielded some interesting results on ad retention. The study records eye movements, heart rates and more to determine a viewer’s reaction to an ad being viewed in fast forward. According to the study, ads have the highest recall rate when they feature centered elements and focus on a single scene without relying on text or audio to convey the message. Recall also increased when the viewer has seen the full ad before.

THE FCC began its hearing on Comcast’s throttling of Bittorrent connections. Kevin Martin said that Internet service providers cannot “arbitrarily block access to certain services” and that the FCC is prepared to prevent such practices from occurring. The FCC is considering whether Comcast has already violated its four net-neutrality principles — which have not been tested legally.

HBO has launched a channel on YouTube that offers full episodes of “In Treatment” and clips from “Entourage,” “The Wire” and other top shows. Promotional content and exclusive, YouTube-only videos will also be featured. Check it out here.

MYSPACE will launch yet another original show, offering a new hidden camera series called “Special Delivery.” The prank-based show received sponsorship from Cheetos based on pilot episodes. Special Delivery will run for 18 episodes with two being released each week. In related news, “Quarterlife” will start on NBC tonight. Episodes will be sold on iTunes the same day they air on NBC.

ONLINE AD REV exceeded $21 billion for the first time in 2007.

DENUO GROUP will partner with BLINKX to study the effectiveness of online video advertising.

ADOBE has released AIR, a software system designed to blur the line between a desktop application and an online application.

CBS will offer VOD game highlights in HD from the NCAA tournament.

THE FCC approved the deal that will give LIBERTY MEDIA control of DirecTV.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit



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