By Ryan Buxton, EnStarz | Sep 08, 2012 12:58 PM EDT
MTV's Video Music Awards took quite the tumble in the ratings this year.
After last year's show pulled in an enormous audience of 12.4 million viewers - the VMAs' biggest audience in its 24-year history - the ratings for this year's broadcast fell by more than 50 percent.
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Only 6.1 million viewers tuned in for MTV's signature award show, and the network's target demographic of 12- to 34-year-olds didn't tune in any more than any other age group.
One explanation for the huge drop-off in viewers could be several changes MTV made to the VMAs' schedule this year.
The awards show formerly aired on Sundays, but the network moved the show to a Thursday this year. And not just any Thursday - the Thursday when President Barack Obama was closing out the Democratic National Convention with his acceptance of the party's nomination for president.
MTV did move up the VMA broadcast to 8 p.m. from 9 p.m. so as not to compete with the president, but it's still possible the earlier DNC festivities stole some viewers.
The low rating could also possibly be attributed to the absence of any high-profile moment to swarm social media.
In the past, antics like Kanye West's interruption of Taylor Swift and Madonna kissing Britney Spears onstage made the VMAs a kind of can't-miss program. But as the most exciting thing that happened this year was Rihanna's kiss with Chris Brown, the shock factor didn't reach the heights necessary to pull in big ratings.
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