MTV Euro award benefits from shift

Move to Sunday helps attract 22.2 million

LONDON — MTV’s decision to reschedule its European Music Awards to a Sunday evening has paid dividends with the broadcaster claiming this year’s show was the most watched telecast to date.

This year’s event, held in the Spanish capital Madrid on Nov. 7 and hosted by Eva Longoria, was the 17th edition of the ceremony but marked the first time the awards have moved away from their traditional Thursday primetime program slot.

That move helped MTV reach a total of 22.2 million viewers on the various MTV and Viva channels around the world and helped propel the key P12-34 demographic viewership to an increase of 61% year on year.

Other successes included a 72% increase in live streams of the show online to more than 4.5 million and a record 46 million votes cast for the various award categories, with winners including the likes of Lady Gaga, Bon Jovi, Shakira, Justin Bieber, Eminem and Katy Perry.

“There were two good reasons to move to a Sunday,” explained Antonio Campo Dall’Orto, executive vice president Music brands for MTV Networks. “The EMAs is the biggest music event in Europe, if not the world, and we’re aware that other A-league events such as the Oscars and the Grammys take place on a Sunday night. People get used to the idea that big televised events happen on a Sunday, so it was a natural choice for us to follow in those footsteps.

“The second reason was very pragmatic and practical. From a viewing perspective our analysis confirmed that in the early days Thursday night was perfect for a music event so that it could have its own space. However, given our distribution around the world, we know that one of the biggest changes among TV channels internationally is the UEFA Champions League, which takes place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The popularity of those (soccer) games makes it hard for broadcasters to plan entertainment programming for those nights and in many cases they have moved to Thursdays, which now makes it a crowded schedule.”