The annual Video Game Awards show in Spike TV is always a divisive event in the gaming community. While publishers enjoy the publicity of a glitzy television extravaganza, gamers tend to grind their teeth in rage, upset with how the show presents the industry. 2010-vga

This year’s show – broadcast Saturday the 11th – boasted Neil Patrick Harris as host and some solid choices for winners. (“Red Dead Redemption” took Game of the Year honors.) But was it able to attract an audience?

Not so much.

My colleague Rick Kissell, Variety’s in-house ratings expert, was kind enough to pull the numbers for me and the numbers show that for the fourth consecutive year, Spike has seen the audience for the VGAs shrink. 627,000 people watched the show – a 3 percent drop from last year’s installment. That works out to 20,000 fewer viewers for those who prefer hard numbers.

The numbers will increase in the coming week, as DVR playbacks are counted through the 18th. And we should get a better look at the demographic breakdown later. But all in all, Spike’s big gaming party is becoming less and less of a must see event for the industry’s top fans.

Update – 12/15 – While the overall numbers were down there is some reason to celebrate at Spike. Demographics in some key categories were actually up this year. Adults 18-49 were up 12 percent – from 370K to 450K; Adults 18-34 were up 5 percent from 278K to 292K and Men 18-34 showed an impressive 15 percent climb from 281K to 251K.

A full breakdown of the live-viewing demographics is below:

Year

2+

M 12-17

M 18-34

M 35-49

2010

627,000

n/a

251,000

n/a

2009

647,000

166,000

218,000

65,000

2008

680,000

199,000

229,000

74,000

2007

921,000

153,000

327,000

95,000

 

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