Video Music Awards Viewership Plummets on MTV

According to Variety, Sunday’s telecast of the “MTV Video Music Awards” drew the event’s smallest-ever audience on the network.  According to Nielsen “live plus same-day” estimates, the VMA Awards averaged 5.03 million viewers on MTV, down a steep 39% from last year’s 8.26 million. Sunday’s program was simulcast on nine other Viacom-owned networks and a cumulative viewership tally wasn’t immediately available Tuesday morning, but it drew nearly 3.9 million viewers on four of them: VH1 (1.11 million), TV Land (975,000), BET (943,000) and Comedy Central (842,000).

Last year, in addition to the 8.3 million who watched on MTV, an additional 1.31 million watched on sister network VH1.  The smallest audience in recent years for the VMA Awards on MTV was 6.13 million in 2012, which marked a 16-year low. The lowest on record, since Nielsen began tracking the event in 1994, was 5.07 million in 1996.

The “2015 MTV Video Music Awards,” an event dominated by Taylor Swift, Cyrus and the comeback of Justin Bieber, did a 2.6 rating in adults 18-49 — down 38% from last year’s 4.2 rating. Its total jumped to 4.3 when VH1 (0.52), TV Land (0.48), Comedy Central (0.39) and BET (0.33) were included.  Sunday’s awards show also set a U.S. Twitter record (excluding major sports events), with roughly 2.2 million people generating about 21.4 million tweets.

Sidebar: Not even putting it on every channel (Vh1, BET, TV Land) could raise the ratings.