Where Did All of MTV’s Viewers Go?

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 06: (L-R) Singers Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson of One Direction perform onstage during the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards at Staples Center on September 6, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

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 was seen by 6.1 million viewers last week. Nielsen, a company that measures media consumption, says that’s less than half of the 12.4 million who watched in 2011. That was believed to be MTV’s most-watched program ever.

The awards show started about an hour earlier than it usually does to avoid conflicting with President Barack Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention.

The TV viewership may have been down, but MTV says it was a big event on social media.

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