One of TV’s Big Annual Events Hits an All-Time Low

Aug 29, 2017  •  Post A Comment

A telecast that has previously delivered a strong viewership number slipped to an all-time low this year. TVbytheNumbers reports that MTV’s Video Music Awards, which aired Sunday, dipped for the fourth year in a row, sinking to an all-time low in viewers.

“Sunday’s show, which aired opposite the massive ‘Game of Thrones’ season finale, drew a 1.4 rating among adults 18-49 and 2.66 million viewers, down 22 percent and 19 percent from last year’s 1.8 and 3.27 million viewers,” TVbytheNumbers reports. “The 2.66 million viewers is the smallest audience for the VMAs since Nielsen started measuring the show in 1994.”

The report also notes: “Adding in a simulcast on six other channels (VH1, BET, Spike, Comedy Central, TV Land and MTV2), the VMAs averaged a 2.6 and 5.36 million viewers, down from 3.9 (-33 percent) and 6.5 million viewers (-17.5 percent) on nine channels last year.”


  1. Doesn’t anyone at MTV watch Game of Thrones? Anyone could have told them the Finale of GOT would cream any other show that night.

  2. A possible reason for this long-term slide is that the awards ceremony celebrates a medium that MTV has long ceased telecasting – how many people have even seen the videos in competition? While dedicated fans of specific artists may have watched their favorites’ latest videos, the role of “music video public square” that MTV used to play no longer exists. Without a common frame of reference, there is little rooting interest among music fans who know that they’ll see any Tweet-able show highlights in near real-time anyway.

  3. Award shows are becoming too politically polarizing. Plus, does MTV even telecast music videos anymore?

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