Up significantly from last year’s numbers, Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards fell significantly short of the 2011 broadcast, which set the all-time record.
Fueled by a star-studded lineup, including a heavily-hyped ‘N Sync reunion, Sunday’s VMAs attracted 10.1 million viewers and a strong 7.8 rating in the network’s target 12-34 demographic.
While reflective of a 66% viewership gain over last year’s broadcast, the comparison is not entirely apples-to-apples given the network’s decision to air the 2012 edition on a Thursday. The questionable move produced disappointing ratings that were sure to be topped by this year’s show.
The more appropriate comparison, therefore, is to the 2011 edition, which attracted an all-time-best 12.4 million viewers for its initial telecast. Its P12-34 rating was a considerably stronger 10.8.
Headlined by Justin Timberlake’s receipt of the Vanguard Award, the broadcast also featured performances from names like Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Robin Thicke, Drake, Bruno Mars, Macklemore, Katy Perry and Kanye West.