TV Ratings: VMAs Take a Small Hit, Pull 8.3 Million Viewers

Ariana Grande MTV VMA Performance - H 2014
AP Images

Ariana Grande MTV VMA Performance - H 2014

Driven by just as much twerking as last year, MTV's Video Music Awards still took a hit on Sunday night. The evening before the Emmys, the cable network's flagship event brought in some of music's biggest names — including Beyonce, who closed the night with a nearly 20-minute performance.

The live 9 p.m. ET telecast averaged 8.3 million viewers. That's 1.8 million viewers from last year's 10.1  haul. With encores on MTV and sister nets, the show took a total of 13.7 million viewers over the course of the night.

In MTV's targeted younger demographic of 12- to 34-year-olds, the VMAs averaged a 6.7 rating.

The 2013 VMAs saw huge gains thanks to a move back to Sunday. (The 2012 Thursday outing plummeted to just 6.1 million viewers.) MTV's all-time most watched VMA telecast still belongs to the 2011 show, which fetched 12.4 million viewers.

Skewing young, the broadcast was predictably a hit on Twitter. Nielsen estimates 12.6 million VMA-related tweets on Sunday night, with a unique audience of 10.9 million people.