VMAs Hosted by Half-Naked Miley Cyrus Lose MTV 3.3 Million Viewers

Cable channel’s ratings plummet 39 percent from last year

Miley Cyrus
onstage during the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on August 30, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

The Video Music Awards got a mere 5.03 million viewers on MTV Sunday. That single-channel number is down 3.3 million viewers — or minus 39 percent — from last year’s 8.3 million.

On Monday, TheWrap reported that the VMAs lost 500,000 viewers overall from 2014’s show. This year, the show was simulcast on 10 Viacom channels; last year it played on just four.

Sunday’s VMAs drew 9.8 million viewers across the 10 nets. In 2011, the VMAs hit a high with 12.4 million total viewers.

To be fair, social and streaming numbers were up from 2014. And in MTV’s key 18-34 demographic, the VMAs were still the top-rated awards show on cable this year, the channel touted on Monday.

Sunday’s show was actually the top-tweeted non-Super Bowl TV event since Nielsen began measuring Twitter reach. The 2015 MTV VMAs generated 21.4 million tweets, which reached 11.8 million people. Per Facebook, 16 million people had 39 million related interactions on the giant social media platform yesterday.

The 2015 VMAs generated 19.1 million streams, up 155 percent over the prior year, per MTV’s research. The cable channel’s app also delivered its best day ever.