Ratings: MTV VMAs Viewership Plunges

The ratings for Thursday night’s Video Music Awards went the One Direction MTV definitely wasn’t hoping for: way down.

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The telecast averaged 6.1 million viewers, a fall from the record 12.45 million that tuned into the 2011 show. It marked the smallest VMA audience in six years.

Two key factors likely contributed to the erosion: The unusual Thursday airdate and the early, 8 pm start time (to avoid competing with coverage of the Democratic National Convention).

Despite the dip, the VMAs still ranked as the night’s top telecast in the network’s targeted 12-34 demo.

Why do you think the ratings dropped so sharply? Hit the comments with your theories on the numbers and your suggestions for how MTV can regain its audience next year.