Ratings: 2011 VMAs Attract a Record-Shattering 12.4 Million Viewers

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Holy [bleep], the ratings for Sunday’s 2011 MTV Video Music Awards were huge.

MTV VMAs ’11: The Best and Worst

According to just-released data, the cuss-filled kudocast drew a best-ever 12.4 million viewers. The ceremony also ranked as MTV’s most-watched telecast of all time.

By comparison, last year’s VMAs drew 11.4 million viewers.

What do you think accounted for the surge? Post your theories in the comments!

Comments (23)

  • Guess there’s no accounting for taste…

    Comment by Brad – August 29, 2011 02:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • You got that right!

      Comment by JohnDoe – August 29, 2011 03:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • yeah, just look at the top grossing films of the summer if you need further proof of that.

      Comment by scorpo – August 29, 2011 03:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Um, I’m sorry but Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows-Part 2 and I beg to differ.

        Comment by Erin – August 29, 2011 05:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Seriously. With the exception of Adele, that entire show was awful.

      Comment by brandy – August 29, 2011 04:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So I guess the moral of the story is…the less actual music videos you play throughout the year, the greater the audience is for the award show honoring said videos?

    Comment by George – August 29, 2011 02:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Or: This is what happens when MTV actually plays MUSIC!

      Comment by topoopon – August 29, 2011 05:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What the hell?

    I figured because of the number of people without power, the ratings would have been down.

    Comment by Jeff – August 29, 2011 02:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Wasnt that good of a show and the broken leg girl was terrible. Beyonce was the best and the Britney and Amy jade tributes sucked… I only watched to see the tributes better luck never mtv

    Comment by Mike – August 29, 2011 03:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Say what you want, but this year’s show was entertaining as hell.

    The crazy Lady Gaga in drag stuff and her Queen mashup, Beyonce’s great perfomance and Jay-Z’s reaction, Adele’s beautiful performance, Bruno Mars lovely tribute, Nicki Minaj’s outfit,Katy Perry’s cube head (?), Pitbull being awesome and saying the lindsay Lohan line from the song, a snake called Johnson (rolling my eyes)…………….

    It was memorable, and that’s why the ratings were so high.

    Comment by Dessy – August 29, 2011 03:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I only watched for the Hunger Games teaser trailer.

    Comment by Elizabeth – August 29, 2011 03:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • There’s a reason VMAs went host-less this year. Could they do it again next year?

    Comment by kevin – August 29, 2011 03:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I felt like this years awards encompassed a few generations worth of entertainment. There was the Biebz and Selena Gomez flirting for the kiddies, and then old farts like Beyonce and Jay-Z announcing they’re with child. Bam! Target age group my ass, they roped in everyone from the primary-school tweens to the over-the-hill celebrity obsessed soccer-moms who birthed them.

    Comment by Bee – August 29, 2011 03:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Is the Bieber/Gomez to Beyonce/Jay-Z gap REALLY all that big…

      Comment by George – August 29, 2011 03:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Tribute to Amy Winehouse is the reason why everyone watched.

    Comment by Ellia – August 29, 2011 03:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Hah! Maybe the reason you watched but don’t put words in other people’s mouths. I could care less about paying tribute to Amy Winehouse. I mean what kind of lesson is that to today’s youth: Become a drug addict and get a tribute on MTV?

      Comment by JCJ – August 29, 2011 03:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • She may have had a drug problem – but she also took responsibility and tried to get herself help. It was too little too late, but she didn’t die of drugs as your ensinuating.

        Comment by Annoyed – August 29, 2011 03:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I never once insinuated that she died of drugs. She did not try and get help for her problem. I’m so tired of everyone making excuses for these celebrities. I’m not saying she deserved to die because her drug/alcohol problems, but she does not deserve the praise that she’s been getting since her death. Instead of embracing the problem, seeking help, turning her life around, and then helping others going through the same problems, she continued to live a life not worthy of any tribute.

          Comment by JCJ – August 30, 2011 09:42 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Well those of us that suffered through the entire ridiculous thing just for that 2 second Hunger Games teaser at the very end probably helped add to the ratings!! Not sure how many of us there were though. I’m getting old, so the VMAs always seem a little bit ridiculous to me these days, but I swear this one seemed worse than usual.

    Comment by Rachael – August 29, 2011 04:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Sadly I have to admit that I watched it, mostly b/c I live on the East Coast and had power but wasn’t really going to venture out into the tree covered and/or flooded roadways – so I blame Irene.

    Comment by Jayme – August 29, 2011 07:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Hunger Games happened, only reason i watched the crapfest

    Comment by joecup – August 29, 2011 09:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • There was nothing else on at the end of summer before new season……..

    Comment by Cathy – August 30, 2011 09:41 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I swear to god it’s the music. The music of the past year has been slamming; there seems to be a larger number of enormous hits and music that’s actually pretty decent (considering we’re talking Top 40 here which is not exactly known for high quality music) and it’s been very popular amongst teens and young adults, aka MTV’s target audience. Because of this the VMAs were an especially exciting event this year.

    Comment by Ken – August 30, 2011 12:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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