Returning to its origins in New York City seemed to work for the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. The 2009 VMAs delivered strong ratings for the cable network Sunday, Sept. 13.
The awards drew 8.97 million viewers on MTV. That is up 5% from the 2008 installment of 8.43 million. The show was also simulcast on VH1 (1.3 million viewers) and MTV2 (749,000 viewers), with the cumulative average being 11 million across the three channels.
In its key demo, P12-34, the VMAs drew a 7.5 rating, its best numbers since the 2005 awards. It was the best show on cable all year in that demographic, the network says.
The VMAs hit a ratings slump in 2006, when the telecast attracted fewer than six million viewers. Since then, the awards show has been slowly growing its viewership, though it still has a ways to go if it hopes to reach the 12 million viewers it would routinely attract in its heyday.
The 2009 awards featured a much covered outburst by rapper Kanye West, who took to the stage to protest Taylor Swift's win for "Best Female Video."