TV Ratings: VMAs Rise in Cross-Platform Viewing, Steady on Air

After a couple of relatively lean years for on-air viewing, the MTV Video Music Awards were relatively steady Tuesday. The show’s cross-platform consumption, however, improved on last year.

Final same-day Nielsen ratings have the show drawing 913,000 viewers on MTV, a 29.5 percent jump from 705,000 for the 2022 VMAs (and also slightly above the 900,000 who watched the 2021 awards on MTV. The VMAs also aired on a 11 Paramount Global cable channels and TelevisaUnivision’s UniMas.

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The total on-air audience for the night was on par with last year, with 3.92 million viewers for the pre-show, main show and replays across all 13 outlets. (The VMAs aired on The CW in addition to all the Paramount channels last year but did not this year.)

The VMAs showed sizable improvement in MTV’s core demographics of adults 18-34 — more than doubling last year’s show — and adults 18-49, which was up by 77 percent year to year. The show scored a 1.14 rating among the 18-34 demo in homes where MTV is available (which number about 70 million), the best for the show (again, on MTV alone) since 2019), based on early figures. Its 1.03 rating for adults 18-49 is a three-year high. The VMAs gave MTV its best Tuesday night in both demos in almost a decade — since 2014. (Last year’s awards aired on a Sunday.)

In total cross-platform consumption — which includes viewing of VMAs content on social media and streaming as well as on air — the awards gathered 1.82 billion minutes of viewing, up from 1.59 billion a year ago and improving for the third straight year.

Taylor Swift won video of the year for “Anti-Hero” at the awards, her second consecutive win in the category. The awards also featured an ‘NSync reunion and performances from Doja Cat, Megan Thee Stallion, Shakira and a number of hip-hop icons celebrating the 50th year of the genre.

Sept. 13, 3:15 p.m. Updated with final same-day ratings for MTV.

Sept. 15, 9:40 a.m. Updated with cross-platform viewing figures.

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