Somebody does not want their MTV. Despite being the top show on cable last night, the network’s Video Music Awards lost more than half its audience compared with the 2011 show, which drew a record 12.4 million viewers. Last night’s VMAs pulled in 6.1 million and earned a 2.8 rating, far below 2011’s 6.2. There certainly were a lot of changes this year: Back in May, MTV decided to move the start time of the two-hour show ahead an hour to 8 PM so it didn’t conflict with President Obama’s 10 PM speech at the Democratic National Convention. The show also moved from airing on a Sunday to a Thursday.
While the network wasn’t a big winner with the event, which was broadcast from LA’s Staples Center for the first time, the Simon Cowell-created One Direction was. The boy band won three awards including Best New Artist. Comedian Kevin Hart hosted the show, with Taylor Swift, Pink and Rihanna, who won the Video of the Year award for a second time, among the performers.