MTV.com pulls in record numbers

Site pulled in 4.7 million unique visitors

Rubberneckers to Britney Spears VMA performance Sunday night helped account for a record amount of traffic to the net’s site, MTV said Tuesday.

MTV.com drew 4.7 million unique visitors by Monday afternoon, which the net said was the most traffic it had ever received in a day.

Number, which is 140% higher than last year’s tally for the day after the VMAs, was driven by the hoopla around the Spears’ lip-sync. Site made all perfs available on-demand and touted Spears’ with a promo line at the top that read “From Britney’s much-talked-about return… watch the performances, and the performances only, that rocked this year’s show.”

Earlier the net had revealed that ratings were up 23% in the 12-34 demo and were up a similar percentage among total viewers, which clocked in at 7.1 million.

Pre-show ratings also jumped 72% in the 12-34 demo.

Though the fireworks were relatively few compared with previous years’ programs, combination of a live telecast, a Vegas setting and the Spears effect suggested there was life in the franchise even as it entered its 25th year — and offered a template for how to keep it relevant.

But the net Tuesday was coy about what this would mean for next year’s airing.

Another youth-oriented Viacom launch also fared well over the weekend.

Pilot for “iCarly,” the Nickelodeon new-media hybrid show that seeks to break out “Drake & Josh” thesp Miranda Cosgrove as a star vehicle, drew 3.5 million viewers in its Saturday night bow, and an additional 3.9 million on a Sunday morning reair.

The second episode in the series landed 3.7m in its Saturday slot immediately following the pilot, and 4.1m on a Sunday re-air.

But net did not say how much of the Sunday numbers were comprised of repeat viewers.

Series combines user-generated video into the telecast itself (protag is a Web video savant), and Nick flogged a tally of 2,000 uploaded videos on its site and 1.1 million streams on its TurboNick broadband player as a measure of its new media success.

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