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Good news, bad news for MTV kudocast

Awards show tops young-adult demos, but ratings down from last year

The “MTV Video Music Awards” scored a ratings victory for the net and for cable TV on Thursday, although viewership was down sharply from last year’s record-setting marks.

According to Nielsen, the three-hour kudocast averaged a 6.5/11 rating nationally and averaged 9.85 million viewers, down about 18% from last year’s 8.0/14 and 11.94 million — the largest audience ever for an entertain-ment program on basic cable.

Still, this year’s gathering was large enough to push MTV into second place on the night behind only ABC (13.12 million).

And in the key young-adult demos 18-34 and 18-49, the cabler topped every network on television, despite drops of 8% (6.8/21 from 7.3/23) and 17% (4.7/13 from 5.5/15), respectively, from last year. Show’s biggest loss came in teens, where this year’s 9.5/33 is down by 37% from last year’s whopping 15.1/45.

There’s apparently a significant overlap in audience between MTV and NBC’s Thursday comedies, as the Peacock’s 8-10 p.m. comedy lineup (all in reruns) slipped 12% in adults 18-34 vs. the previous week.

Original episodes of ABC’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” and UPN’s “WWF Smackdown,” though, actually gained in the 18-34 demo compared with a week earlier — up 15% and 9%, respectively.

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