Pop Culture

Oscars most-watched entertainment event since 'Friends' finale

March 3, 2014 at 3:50 PM ET

Image: Ellen DeGeneres
Lucy Nicholson / Reuters
Ellen DeGeneres hosted Sunday's Oscar telecast, which was watched by an estimated 43 million people.

Move over, Ross and Rachel. An estimated 43.7 million people watched Sunday night's Academy Awards, making it the most popular entertainment event on television since the 2004 finale of hit sitcom "Friends." The ratings for the Oscars were the highest in 14 years.

Oscar viewership has gone up for three straight years, the Associated Press reports. Last year's Oscars were watched by 40.4 million. Viewership this year was 8 percent higher than last year, according to Reuters.

The "Friends" finale drew 52.5 million. And the Oscars have a ways to go to compete with sporting events. The Super Bowl, which aired exactly one month before the Oscars, drew 111.5 million viewers.