Looking to save its primary source of revenue, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has lifted its 50-year ban on running commercials for movies during the Oscars. Board members voted Tuesday amid concerns over the softening TV ad market and lower ratings for Hollywood’s biggest event of the year.
The academy generates more than $65 million a year in TV license fee revenue from ABC and foreign channels.
"The revenue from the show fuels our programs all over the world," Academy President Sid Ganis told The LA Times. "That’s a lot of dough, and it’s very important to us. Since the show is a celebration of movies, why not let upcoming movies represent themselves in a way that is intelligent and smart and not offensive to anyone?"