The 2021 MTV VMAs may have boasted stage-blazing performances from the likes of Lil Nas X, Normani, Camila Cabello, Ed Sheeran, Chloe Bailey, and more (as we reported here), but their collective star power wasn’t enough to help the ailing annual ceremony drum up an increase in viewership.

Like every other award show, the VMAs was not exempt from reports of steep declines in viewership – as evidenced by the event netting its “worst ratings ever” year after year.

After dropping to 1.32 million viewers at the 2020 edition (as we reported here), this year marks the first time the VMAs dipped outside of septuple digits for the first time since it became officially reporting its ratings in 1994.

Viewership = 900,000


“The ratings of the 2021 VMAs on MTV plummeted 17% in the key age group of audiences between the ages of 18 and 49…

…social media numbers tell a different story, marking it as a hit. It generated 38 million interactions on social media, beating the Super Bowl for the first time and marking it as the year’s top telecast for social media buzz. 

…900,000 live viewers tuned in on Sunday night, which is a 32 percent drop from 1.32 million viewers in 2020. Last year, in turn, saw a 5% drop from 2019.”


The Doja Cat-hosted showing, which aired live Sunday (September 12) across 13 networks (MTV, VH1, the CW, Comedy Central, Nick at Night, Pop, TV Land, MTV2, Logo, Paramount Network, BET, BET Her and CMT), ended the night as the third highest-rated program of the day.

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Only TLC’s ’90 Day Fiance’ and AMC’s ‘Walking Dead’ boasted livelier ratings numbers.

[main photo source: Getty Images]

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