MTV's Video Music Awards took a nosedive in the ratings.
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About 6.1 million viewers tuned into Thursday night's telecast of the VMAs, dropping more than half its audience from last year's record 12.4 million haul. In the network's target 12-34 demo, the VMAs drew a 5.3 rating.
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Something to consider is how different the circumstances were for this year's VMAs. Usually broadcast on a Sunday, the move to Thursday put it in direct conflict with President Obama's planned speech at the Democratic National Convention. Just two days before the show, the network announced the ceremony would move up one hour, airing from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET, to avoid any direct conflict.
Year to year, the VMAs were down more than 50 percent in total viewers.
There was stiffer than usual competition across cable, with news networks airing multiple hours of DNC coverage.
Prior to this year's broadcast, the VMAs have been on the rise, jumping to its largest audience in a decade in 2010.