August 29, 2011 2:53pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
MTV's Video Music Awards Scores Largest Audience Ever
More than 12.4 million viewers tuned in to see Lady Gaga in drag as MTV’s broadcast of the Video Music Awards scored the franchise’s best ratings ever.
According to Nielsen, Sunday’s awards show that saw Katy Perry, Adele and Beyonce make headlines ranked as the cable network’s biggest audience in history, with the VMAs delivering a 10.8 rating and 8.5 million viewers in the network’s target 12-34 demographic, a best in the metric.
Year-over-year, the 2011 VMAs were up 9 percent in total viewers and 8 percent in the 12-34 demo.
In addition, Sunday’s VMAs ranked as 2011’s No. 1 cable telecast among the 12-34 demo and the top nonsports cable telecast of the year in total viewers.
The cabler’s VMA preshow also scored as MTV’s best on record among the 12-34 demo and in total viewers, attracting 5.2 million (up 13 percent year-over-year) and 7.3 million (up 16 percent), respectively.