The MTV Video Music Awards may have drawn a reasonably steady audience on Sunday night — but the kudos did so with the help of 10 networks. On its home channel, the VMAs logged only 5 million viewers during the inaugural 9 p.m. telecast.
That’s more than a 3-million viewer dip from 2014. The network’s flagship event banked 8.3 million viewers during its first run last year, off nearly 2 million from the year before.
Viacom made a big push with the VMAs this year, simulcasting the show across 10 networks — MTV, MTV2, VH1, VH1 Classic, CMT, Logo, BET, Centric, Comedy Central, TV Land — for the first time ever. With all of those taken into account, the VMAs averaged nearly 10 million viewers during the live airing.
An 11:30 p.m. encore also helped the gross number. MTV brought in another 1.4 million viewers with that showing. But if even when you combine both MTV airings, the VMAs were not as big of a draw as the second episode of Fear the Walking Dead on AMC. That netted 8.2 million viewers in its second live-plus-same day showing.
The VMAs did manage to set a record on Twitter. With 21.4 million tweets about the show over the course of the night, it is outpaced by only the Super Bowl in its volume of online chatter. MTV also cited record streaming stats for its app, though the release did not cite specific numbers.