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Ratings dwindle for MTV's annual VMA show

6/12/2014

(©WireImage.com)

NEW YORK (AP) -- What a difference a year makes for MTV's "Video Music Awards," and not in a good way.

MTV's annual big event last week was seen by 6.1 million viewers, less than half of the 12.4 million who watched in 2011, when the show was believed to be MTV's most-watched program ever, according to the Nielsen Co., which measures media consumption.

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The show wasn't lacking for star power, with performances by Taylor Swift, Frank Ocean, Green Day, Pink and Alicia Keys with Nicki Minaj. But it aired on a Thursday this year, instead of a Sunday, when more viewers tend to be available. MTV also moved up the telecast by one hour to avoid competing with President Barack Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention, and the 8 p.m. hour is early for MTV's young customers.

Still, MTV said the research company Trendrr said the awards were the top social media event of the year, with more than triple the Internet conversation as last year.

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