Billboard Music Awards: No. 1 With Prime Ratings Audience
Billboard Music Awards: No. 1 With Prime Ratings Audience

Sunday night's Billboard Music Awards -- which featured performances from Beyonce, Rihanna, Britney Spears, Keith Urban and many more -- drew its biggest audience since 2003 and improved on 2006's numbers, the last year the show was staged.

The three-hour telecast on ABC averaged 7.9 million total viewers from 8-11 p.m. -- up 28 percent from the 2006 telecast. The show dominated the ratings across the board in the key demographics, drawing a 2.9 rating among adults aged 18-49, which translates to more than 3.8 million viewers in that age group.

Other demos in which the awards show was No. 1 were adults 25-54, women 18-34 and women 18-49.

The audience tuning in to the Billboard Music Awards rose in the 9-9:30 p.m. slot to more than 9.4 million viewers. It was also the most-watched show on television between 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

The awards show dominated the season finale of NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice" by 7 percent in the key 18-49 demo and by 76 percent in adults 18-34.

The competition at NBC between 9 and 11 p.m., the season finale of "The Celebrity Apprentice," dropped significantly in the ratings when compared to last year's finale.

Justin Bieber, a presenter at the show, was one of the big winners Sunday, taking home six official awards, including Digital Artist of the Year and Top New Artist, as well as the Billboard.com Fan Favorite Award. Eminem also dominated the night, taking home Top Artist, Top Male Artist and Top Rap Artist, among others.