MTV’s Video Music Awards kudocast on Sunday hit an eight-year high, drawing 11.4 million viewers to make it the most-watched telecast on the cabler since 2002 and the third most of all time.
Aud for the awards, hosted by E! latenight host Chelsea Handler at the Nokia Theater in downtown Los Angeles, was 27% higher than last year’s show that made headlines when Kanye West embarrassed Taylor Swift on stage and took a drubbing for his actions.
No such moment occurred in the 2010 edition in which Lady Gaga won eight Moon Man trophies, including video of the year.
In the 12-34 demo, show averaged 7.9 million viewers — the most ever for that age group.
The stellar numbers are all the more impressive when considering the competition. The primetime Dallas Cowboys-Washington Redskins matchup was watched by more than 25 million and was the biggest game in the history of NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.” And on the cable side, HBO offered the season finales of both “True Blood” and “Entourage.”
The two other MTV telecasts that were higher than Sunday’s show are also “Video Music Awards.” The 2002 edition drew 11.95 million and 1999’s program was just a notch below at 11.94 million.
It’s been a strong year for MTV, whose reality juggernaut “Jersey Shore” has shattered several records while “Teen Mom” has landed impressive results.
In the post-“VMA” timeslot, doc skein “World of Jenks” garnered 4.8 million viewers and was the cabler’s all-time highest-rated series debut in the 12-34 demo.