Video Awards Give MTV More

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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 p.m to 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 Music Hall on Aug. 31, 2006.

However, the performance still lagged behind the 10 million viewers the VMAs averaged from 2001 to 2004, 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, which opened with a very vacant-looking Britney Spears, who 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 Rihanna 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 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. For its part, MTV.com pulled in record numbers among both unique visitors and for streams.

Company officials said MTV.com attracted 2.6 million unique visitors on Sept. 9, beating last year’s day-of-show uniques by 40%. The next day, the site drew 8.7 million unique visitors, making it the highest-trafficked day on the site ever — a 340% boost over last year’s day-after-the-VMAs numbers.

Relative to streaming, the site boasted more than 17.4 million streams on Sept. 10 — 160% more than last year’s day-after numbers and a one-day record.

Along with the Spears performance, the VMAs also drew attention because of the relatively calm onstage appearance of feuding rappers 50 Cent and Kanye West.

The two Hip-Hop artists met face to face again on Black Entertainment Television’s Sept. 11 106 & Park music video show, this time to perform songs from their respective competing albums, which dropped that day.

BET said the show drew a 1.2 household rating and 1 million households, its top music program of the year. The show, which also featured a surprise visit from Jay-Z, attracted 1.3 million total viewers.

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