VMAs Swing 23% Gain in Viewers

Britney Spears may have looked pretty vacant, but MTV’s 2007 Video Music Awards danced before more viewers than the 2006 show.

The Sept. 9 event from Las Vegas averaged a 4.7 household rating from 9-11:12 p.m., translating into 7.08 million total viewers, up 23% from the 5.76 million who tuned in the three-hour kudofest from New York’s Radio City on Aug. 31, 2006. However, the performance still lagged the 10 million viewers the VMAs averaged between 2001-04, according to Nielsen Media Research data. The show ranked second for the week ending that night trailing only the 8.17 million viewers for the Sept. 3 installment of cable’s top series, TNT’s The Closer.

Among its preferred demo, the 2007 VMAs, in which Spears looked quite out of sorts as she lip-synched and barely danced through her new song Gimme More, grew 23% to a 6.4 rating among persons 12 to 34, or just under 5 million of those watchers. MTV officials said the telecast, which saw Rhianna take home Moonman trophies for video of the year and monster single for Umbrella, was ad-supported cable’s top show year to date among that demographic group.

In other demo breakdowns, the 2007 VMAs --which unlike years past when they were repeatedly repeated, will not be encored this go round on the linear service -- delivered 3.9 million persons 18 to 34, up from 2.4 million, and 5 million among the 18-to-49 set, versus 3.4 for last year's event.

The show also received a fair amount of publicity for a dust-up between Kid Rock and Tommy Lee over their ex--Pam Anderson.

For its part, MTV.com pulled in record number among both unique visitors and for streams.

Company officials said the MTV.com attracted 2.6 million unique visitors on Sept. 10, making it the most-trafficked day ever for the site, beating last year’s day-after VMA count by 32%.

Relative to streaming, MTV.com had garnered more than 7 million total streams as of 3:30 p.m. yesterday, pushing past the 6.7 million streams for the day-after VMA count in 2006. As of the same time on Monday, there had been 6 million streams for the 2007 VMAs on-demand, including 871,000 that had been delivered through midnight on Sept. 9 via MTV.com and MTV’s syndicated video player that includes its streams on other sites.