LOS ANGELES (Reuters Life!) - Oscar organizers said on Wednesday they are unlikely to "significantly" advance the telecast for the world's top film honors in 2012, though an earlier date could still be possible after that.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said in June it was considering advancing the Oscar telecast, a move that could speed Hollywood's awards season and create challenges for other programs and film studios.
"The Academy's Board of Directors has determined that the date of the 84th Academy Awards in 2012 is unlikely to be significantly earlier than the traditional last Sunday in February," the Academy said in a statement.
"A different date still remains a possibility in subsequent years, and the Academy's staff and Board will continue to evaluate the advantages and challenges associated with such a date."
Typically in recent years, the Academy has held the Oscars on the final Sunday in February, although some years it has lapsed into March. The 2011 Oscars are set for February 27.
The Academy Awards show is annually the second most-watched show on U.S. television and seen by tens of millions around the world. But viewership has eroded in recent years as other industry groups, such as the Screen Actors Guild, began televising their own ceremonies.
Advancing the Oscars would give the telecast an earlier chance to be the first major awards show, but a change could throw Hollywood's award season into turmoil.
It could also affect the box office of some low-budget films, such as past Oscar winner "Slumdog Millionaire," which rely on acclaim to lure audiences into theatres.
Writing by Elaine Lies; editing by Bob Tourtellotte