MTV cheers its VMA bulge

BritneyIt’s the bulge that they’re all talking about today at MTV. MTV sez that Monday was’s busiest day ever “by far” with 2.6 million unique visitors, up 40% over its previous record-high, which was day after last year’s VMAs.

MTV also reports that it has beamed out more than 7 million video streams of show snippets, a record that beats last year’s 6.7 million streams during the same period, and on Sunday night it delivered some 871,000 streams of the full-blown VMA telecast through its MTV Video Music Awards On-Demand service. So while these bulges aren’t attached to any of Britney Spears’ body parts per se, her much-panned perf helped drive a whole lot ‘o this traffic — undoubtedly more than if the critics had been raving or even lukewarm about her big comeback effort.

Using the old-fashioned Nielsen ratings yardstick, Sunday’s live VMA telecast drew an average of 7.1 million viewers, up 23% from last year, when the show’s ratings tumbled precipitously. In the MTV target demo of 12-34, kudocast drew 5 million viewers, also up 23% from last year’s low ebb.

Meanwhile, David Letterman came up with some face-saving (belly-saving?) excuses for why Britney bombed so badly on Sunday in his Top Ten list on Monday’s show. (Click here for the clip.) Among the highlights:

No. 9: I haven’t been myself since Phil Rizzuto died.

No. 3: Uh…global warming.

No. 1: Wanted to get myself on Oprah like Dave.

(Pic of Britney Spears by John Shearer/WireImage)

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