Surprise, surprise: MTV VMAs pulled in huge ratings
September 14th, 2010
01:40 PM ET

Surprise, surprise: MTV VMAs pulled in huge ratings

Well, what a surprise: MTV’s 2010 Video Music Awards was a ratings bonanza on Sunday night, pulling in the largest audience of any telecast on the network since 2002, according to a press release.

That equates to 11.4 million viewers tuning in to watch the program, which will be in MTV’s history books as the third most-watched show of all time for the network. (Of all time!)

It’s possible that many were tuning in to see how that whole Taylor Swift/Kanye West storyline would end; ratings were up 33 percent from the previous year, when West’s actions at the awards ceremony spawned the "Kanye shrug" and a quote that will probably never be erased from the cultural lexicon.

Filed under: MTV VMAs • television

soundoff (96 Responses)
  1. Patricia

    Only watched because of 30 Seconds To Mars! Those guys are great and deserved the award...they totally deserved video of the year too!!

    September 16, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Laura ostrom

    Watched for 30 Seconds to Mars!!!! They deserved all their nominations and shoulda won them all too! Love the boys from Mars!!!

    September 16, 2010 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  3. Chaya

    Unfortunately I can't see it live. I have tu turn on MTV Germany on Monday...but my only reason for that: 30 Seconds to mars, of course :o)
    Echelon did it and a moonman goes to the marsmen!
    Rest of the show was boring, Handler was a little funny and Bieber sucks..unbelieveable that all the chicks fall for this milksop.My husband really thought Bieber is an ubran legend and was surprised to see that kid live :o)

    September 16, 2010 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
  4. Dante Williams

    30 seconds to mars should have performed but its cool they won

    September 16, 2010 at 2:17 am | Report abuse |
  5. Diamond

    I seriously only watched the VMA's to see 30 SECONDS TO MARS wim best rock video!!
    Mtv needs more music from artist that have talent and substance #ECHELON

    September 16, 2010 at 2:16 am | Report abuse |
  6. Bryan

    As almost all comments had said it, the only good thing on this awards was clearly 30 Seconds To Mars!! Oh yeah & Linkin Park's presentation was cool too

    September 15, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Chris

    I only watched to see 30 Seconds to Mars win!!!!!!!!

    September 15, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Air Boddie 23

    Also, the next time you girls come up with a briliantplan to get one of your favorite bands more publicity and media attention by flooding the pages of blogs please follow these rules: 1. Less is more. All five of you came off as desperate in your comments. 2. Try to remember to switch your name every so often. A few of u got bored or forgot to use a new name and got caught sleeping at the wheel. 3. Dont write the exact same thing for every comment.

    September 15, 2010 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • BB

      Yeah, yeah, we got it the first time.
      You must have no clue how many fans this band has. So why don't you STFU.

      September 15, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marie

      You're sooo jealous!!! You WISH your favourite band fans had as much fans and support as 30 STM has, fyi we are not 5 people, we are millions and millions of dedicated fans that love our band and if you don't like it then ok, just don't comment against us...

      September 15, 2010 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Margret

      lmao. obviously their plan worked. it got someone to take notice and listen. i bet Air Boddie 23 even went as afar as to google 30STM.

      September 16, 2010 at 2:20 am | Report abuse |
  9. Trin

    The whole thing was a sham, 30 Seconds to Mars were the only reason I watched. They work dam hard and deserved more awards than they got. I thought the rest of the show was pants!!!

    September 15, 2010 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  10. RITA


    September 15, 2010 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
  11. Air Boddie 23

    Dude, like I totally watched the VMA's to see 30 Seconds To Mars. Jared Leto is totally awesome! NOT!!! All of ya'll are pathetic. Youre little fake campaign to get some MTV exec (you hear it first.) to get interested in rock is not gonna work. Youre all (and by "all" I mean all 5 of you 16 year old girls putting in multiple comments under different names) thinking, it worked for Betty White why not 30 Seconds To Mars? The difference is that 30 Seconds are just not made for these times. Had it been 1994 or so they would be more known. Unfortunately for Jared and all 5 of you it's 2010. Good try though Amy, Dakota, Miley, Casey and Buffy. Better luck next next time.

    September 15, 2010 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
  12. Ignus Fast

    Shouldn't 30 seconds to mars BECOME a rock group, before they can win for best video? That's an insult to all the actual rock groups.

    September 15, 2010 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
    • DonnainATL

      Rock is so all-encompassing: pop rock, art rock, prog rock, alt rock, indie rock, glam rock. Real rock 'n' roll is like Chuck Berry or Bill Hayley or Jerry Lee Lewis (and I'm old enough to remember all 3 of these &more) and I'm pretty sure they aren't making any new music. So why not 30STM?? It's a brave new world.

      September 16, 2010 at 4:30 am | Report abuse |
  13. SashDi

    Again, I will repeat what every second (or more like every single) person here is saying – the only reason to watch the show was 30 Seconds to Mars! I've seen them live, and it seems they're just one of those bands programmed to take your breath away on stage.

    September 15, 2010 at 6:45 am | Report abuse |
  14. DonnainATL

    I looked forward to the VMA's for weeks and watched for one reason ONLY and that was 30 SECONDS TO MARS!!!! So proud they got the win for Best Rock video...Yea for Bart Cubbins,,,he should've won for best director too! The show itself was beyond boring. Could care less about the Kanye/Taylor thing. The performances were all same old, same old. A live performance of "Kings and Queens" would certainly have livened things up a bit and brought some excitement to the room, but no. When will the producers of these shows get a clue?? Gaga was a spectacle, but that's all (even tho I liked her vid for Bad Romance) I liked 30STM cover of Bad Romance better than her own song.

    September 15, 2010 at 3:32 am | Report abuse |
    • TheGodsCanDance

      HEAR, HEAR!!! 30STM was my reason for tuning in ~ and these guys live? Urgh! The VMAs missed a chance to showcase true freakin' talent by not scheduling J and the boys.

      Jared, Shannon, Tomo (and Bart!! *snort*), you were gracious, beautiful, light-filled and joyous. Wish you had been highlighted more through the night.

      Well done on the win. The Echelon love ya baby!!!!

      September 15, 2010 at 5:50 am | Report abuse |
  15. jeez

    Enough already with the thirty seconds to mars comments! I'm glad you all got together on facebook or whatever to flood this page with comments about them. They are as boring and as unoriginal (if not more so) than the rest of the corporate created "music" on the show. YAWN! YAWN AND MORE YAWN!

    September 15, 2010 at 3:10 am | Report abuse |
    • DonnainATL

      30STM is probably the least corporate created artist on the show.

      September 15, 2010 at 3:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Sara

      It's all good. You don't have to like them. I found this article on my own. No one told me to comment to "flood the page."

      I did leave out Linkin Park earlier. They did have a good performance, but, obviously, they weren't that good, or I would have remembered them... Sorry.

      If everyone had good taste, the real musicians would have won, or even been nominated for more awards, and I'm not JUST talking about 30STM. A lot of other extremely talented musicians didn't even get a nomination.

      September 15, 2010 at 6:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Emma Lost

      We tuned in (made a point of being home) to watch 30 Seconds to Mars. Most of the rest of the show we hit mute and read. Hate radio candy. Hate dance numbers.

      September 15, 2010 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
    • BB

      So you don't like them...fine. Now stop yawning and go take a long nap.

      September 15, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Ashleigh

    The only reason I watched it this year was to see 30 Seconds To Mars since I voted for them. Other than that the vmas sucked this year there was no variety in genres performed.

    September 15, 2010 at 2:06 am | Report abuse |
  17. Mariaechelon

    I only watched the awards show to see 30 Seconds To Mars! #echelon power prevailed Best Rock Video!!! 3 men who work their a**'s off!! They deserved it!!! ECHELON 4 LIFE! <3

    September 15, 2010 at 2:02 am | Report abuse |
  18. Aimee Donahue

    I watched for 30 seconds to mars, I voted for them like crazy and the power of the Echelon prevailed. They don't get enough credit for how amazing they are and how hard they work. They are one of the most talented people out there, and they deserved to win. I was so happy for them.

    September 15, 2010 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
  19. Aimee Donahue

    I only watched the VMAs for 30 seconds to mars, if they hadn't been going I wouldn't have watched at all

    September 15, 2010 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
  20. MartyKorn

    Horrible host that Chelsea Handler. Rest of the show was good.

    September 15, 2010 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
  21. kitkat

    It's good to see so many people watched solely for a ROCK band performance rather than Lady Gaga, West, or Kanye. Although I'm not a big fan of 30 Seconds to Mars (not against them either), it gives me hope that rock music will return to the mainstream and this hip hop crap goes away!

    September 14, 2010 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Samantha

    4 Words. 30 Seconds to Mars!!!!!!!!! Couldn't wait to see if they'd win! Also wanted to see Eminem.

    September 14, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  23. KittyKate

    ₪ ø ׀׀׀ ۫ο۪ Provehito in Altum!! ₪ ø ׀׀׀ ۫ο۪

    September 14, 2010 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Frank

    I didn't watch, as I don't have a tv. But MTV hasn't been good in about 10 years or so. The VMAs stopped being good when they decided to take it on the road (the VMAs should only be held at Radio City MH in NYC! That's its home!). I would've watched them just for Gaga, though.

    September 14, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Kendra

    I watched in full support of 30 Seconds To Mars, they are amazing and deserve recognition for an AMAZING video, and just their awesomeness as a whole

    September 14, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Phoebe

    I tuned in for 30 Seconds To Mars only as well. Disappointed to see Kings And Queens didn't gain more recognition, but one award is still fantabulous! 😀

    September 14, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Trish

    I watched for one reason 30 SECONDS TO MARS! Didn't care after they won. Lady GaGa makes me sick. With her dead animal dress and stiiting there all high an mightyt, dissing other people with more talent than her. And better looking than her. And I mean men. Plenty of men there prettier than her. #0 Seconds to Mars should have won Video of the year. Instead that slob wins.

    September 14, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |

    Yeap!!!! Me too, just like most of the above, tuned in just to see 30 SECONDS TO MARS WIN!!!

    September 14, 2010 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Tara

    I could have cared less about the Taylor/Kanye thing, I watched to see 30 Seconds to Mars win Best Rock Video!!!

    September 14, 2010 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  30. KentEchelon

    Only good part of the night was when 30 seconds to mars was on screen. MTV should learn from this and let them perform next year. I guarantee it will be better than anyone this year! Well done Mars! Echelon will follow you forever Provehito In Altum

    September 14, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Janyra

    watched to see 30 Seconds to Mars win! I knew the power of the Echelon would prevail 🙂

    September 14, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Lindsey

    I only watched the show because of 30 Seconds to Mars. I wanted to see them walk off that stage with a MOONMAN and they did for Best Rock Video!! 😀 Kings & Queens is a truly amazing video.. I'm so glad they won!

    September 14, 2010 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Jadyne

    Only watched to see 30 SECONDS TO MARS. They deserved to win Best Rock video for KINGS & QUEENS.

    September 14, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  34. gala

    the best was 30 SECONDS TO MARS they make a `perfect moment on mi life!!! they made a video unforgettable =D

    September 14, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Azalea

    I tuned in because of 30 Seconds to Mars. Seeing them win Best Rock Video for Kings + Queens was the best part of the whole show. I'm so excited for Jared, Shannon, & Tomo. They truly deserved the award.

    September 14, 2010 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Shandi

    I only watched because of 30 Seconds To Mars!!
    Chelsea Handler was funny.
    But the rest was just ehh.. Only good thing was 30STM 🙂

    September 14, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Yep

    I watched specifically to see 30 seconds to mars. i tune in every year, but usually don't watch the entire show – this year would've been the same, except that 30stm were nominated for the last category aired. the show was horrible in my opinion. 1 of the worst vma's, with the worst lineup of performers. i like chelsea handler, but i don't think she did well as a host. i did enjoy eminem and rihanna's short performance. it goes without saying that 30stm winning rock vid of the year was the ONLY saving grace for 2010 vma's!

    September 14, 2010 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Tira Mae

    to see 30 Seconds to Mars win their very much deserved award 🙂 although they should have won a few more...just sayin

    September 14, 2010 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Natalia P

    I watched the show as I was online on twitter, that was fun. To be honest, the best thing about the 2010 MTvMAs was to see 30 Seconds to Mars win the Best Rock Video Award. I think many people still don't know about this band. They should. Maybe you can recongnize the lead singer, is Jared Leto best known for his great acting performances. He's quite a singer too!

    September 14, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Kris

    The ONLY reason I watched the VMAs was to cheer for the awesome talent of 30 Seconds to Mars!!! They took home a VMA for Best Rock Video!!! 30 Seconds to Mars ROCKS!

    September 14, 2010 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Erin

    I only watched it because of 30 SECONDS TO MARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They won what they deserved <3 Well done, Echelon.

    September 14, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Ashley

    I only watched the VMA's to see 30 Seconds To Mars, then i turned it to let my kids watch cartoons.

    September 14, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Sara

    I only watched for 30 Seconds to Mars... and Florence and the Machine was the only viable musical performance. Everyone else was uninspiring and dull. Overall, the show was boring, boring, BORING!. Thank goodness for the audience cam online... they seemed to like 30 Seconds to Mars as much as the rest of us. Plus, it allowed me to watch other things and just switch back to MTV for Mars.

    September 14, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  44. tuulikk1

    I watched vma's just because of 30 Seconds To Mars and Linkin Park. Mars guys looked awsome, they should've perform, but Linkin Park was great too.

    September 14, 2010 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Sammy

    30 Seconds to Mars winning BEST ROCK VIDEO was the only good thing that came out of this years VMAS. They are amazing and have an amazing family supporting them. Congrats to them! They deserved that and more! =]

    September 14, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  46. mary ann

    I tuned in to see 30 seconds Mars...and for no other reason..They worked hard for their win and deserve it.

    September 14, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Rose

    Why I watched the MTV VMA's 2010?
    Four words: Thirty Seconds To Mars.
    And they won! Jared, Shannon and Tomo you are my KINGS!
    (Have to say, I also enjoyed seeing Lady Gaga and Kanye West.)

    September 14, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Merry

    I only watch because 30 SECONDS TO MARS was going to be there, and they won the Best Rock video award =)!
    Oh well, adn also because Eminen's return!

    September 14, 2010 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  49. kendall

    i watched for 30 seconds to mars!.. of course. proud member of the echelon family.. loved the outcome. . <3

    September 14, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Natah

    I just only watched the show because of Thirty Seconds to Mars. The rest was crap. Especially Lady Gaga & Justin Biber.

    September 14, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  51. none of ur business


    September 14, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Marie

    I watched to see 30 SECONDS TO MARS. BEST VIDEO ROCK they deserved it, so proud to be an ECHELON.
    But the rest of show was pretty boring...

    September 14, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  53. *Melanieloves30STM

    I watch the MTV VMA because of 30 SECONDS TO MARS =)

    September 14, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Aeolyn

    I watched for 30 Seconds To Mars!! Echelon Army!

    September 14, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  55. onmars

    I watched the show because of 30 seconds to mars

    September 14, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Nika

    I don't even get MTV, so I had to go to a friend's house to guessed it, 30 Seconds to Mars. 🙂

    September 14, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  57. sam

    Did you guys know that Carah Faye (from Shiny Toy Guns) is releasing a record on September 21st

    September 14, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Patricia

    I watched it to see 30 Seconds to Mars

    September 14, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  59. stella

    I watched it for 30 Seconds To Mars !!!!
    The show was more then boooooorrriiinnnggggg !!!!!

    September 14, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Guen

    I watched just to see win 30 seconds to mars... They re my favourite and they deserved it
    Great Eminem performance ... Nice show

    September 14, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  61. vicki

    i only watched the show t see 30 seconds to mars, loved the entrance, and i am so happy that they won best rock video, the show was ok the only other good thing was linkin park, thought there performance was great.
    again congrats to 30seconds to mars, they deserve it.

    September 14, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  62. SisterOfHeresy

    I watched it just for see 30 Seconds To Mars. I believe in this band, they're actually my second family and I couldn't miss (for any reason) VMA's. I wanted stay close to them in each moment of that night.
    I'm very happy and proud of them. God bless 'em

    September 14, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Carol

    I only watched to see 30 Seconds to Mars. I even missed sunday night football to see them. Unfortunately I had to sit through the rest of the crap IE bieber boy and gaga

    September 14, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Victoria Olegova

    I've watched the show because of 30secondstomars. The rest of the show was predictive, boring song, only beautiful Linkin Park's performance at Griffith Observatory standed out.

    September 14, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Shannon

    The only reason why I even bothered watching was for 30 Seconds to Mars. The rest of the show was rock bottom awful. The host wasn't funny, the Kanye/Taylor thing was overplayed and unnecessary (everyone is sick of it) and the music performances, excluding Linkin Park's, were subpar. Worst VMAs ever.

    September 14, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  66. ariah

    Only one reason for watching – 30 seconds to mars

    September 14, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Jennie

    I watched to see 30 Seconds to Mars take home an award. They did; Best Rock Video. Handler was out of her league. Taylor sang about Kanye; Kanye sang about Kanye. But the best performance was Linkin Park. Wish :30STM had performed. Maybe next time.

    September 14, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Hani

    I watched for 30 Seconds to Mars. Glad they won best rock video! Worth the time spent!

    September 14, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Lisa

    I definitely tuned in to watch 30 Seconds To Mars Receive their well deserved award for best Rock video 😀

    September 14, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Faith

    I only watched it for 30 Seconds To Mars. Although the show was good, 30 Seconds To Mars was the only thing I cared about to be perfectly honest.

    September 14, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Stephanie Mieth

    I've only look these show because of 30 Seconds to mars. They won a award and were so happy not like gaga, whichs happyness looks like a lie !

    September 14, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  72. Jill

    Only because of 30 SECONDS TO MARS 🙂 The rest was pretty boring :/

    September 14, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  73. JB

    I watched to see 30 SECONDS TO MARS!!
    They won Best Rock Video and we were so happy! I loved Eminem's performance as well!!

    September 14, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Natalia

    I've only watched the VMS's because of Thirty Seconds to Mars. The rest was very boring.

    September 14, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Mimi

    To be honest i watched it for 30 Seconds To mars!!!! thats alll i cared about! but it was a good show!

    September 14, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Che

    Sorry, Sunday Night Football will beat this out EVERY TIME. Today's music sounds the same. What does MTV stand for again....Music Television. Go back to the glory days and then this show will really mean something. I'm not staying up till 3 a.m. or getting up at 6:00 to watch the videos! The "reality" shows need to go so I can starting learning who all these artists are and so I can actually see a video!

    September 14, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  77. Jay

    Adam Carolla should have been the host...I think they probably asked him but He must have been too busy making the number one most downloaded podcast ever in the history of the world

    September 14, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  78. an0nymouz

    Maybe some of us watched the show for Eminem's return and Chelsea Handler's hosting. I couldn't care less about the Taylor/Kanye thing and I thought their performances were pathetic.

    September 14, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  79. B-Dog

    Chelsea Handler = Worst host EVER. She was boring and unfunny.... I thought she's supposed to be a comedian.

    September 14, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Jay

    remember when Adam Carolla was on MTV...good times!

    September 14, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Jean_Phx

    I just thought that the show was overall pretty boring.

    September 14, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  82. BB (California Bay Area)

    I tuned in to see 30 SECONDS TO MARS and was so happy to see they won best rock video of 2010. I was also glad to see Kanye West doing his thing. Very talented man – just needs to stay away from the booz during award shows.

    September 14, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • RENEE

      I only watched to see 30 Seconds to Mars!!!!!

      September 14, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • desiree

      30 seconds to mars was pretty much the only reason i watched and divoed the show i could care less about the taylor swift and kayne west debacle

      September 14, 2010 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • BB

      MTV and radio stations – Are you listening? We want to see and hear more of 30 STM.
      Also, I can't believe the guy questioning Jared Leto on the white carpet actualy cut him off when he was answering his question. 30 STM rode in on bikes and we hardly got a chance to see or hear from them.

      September 15, 2010 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Linda A. Porter

      After seeing 30 seconds to mars live in Myrtle Beach I needed to see them be recognized for the true artists they are.

      September 16, 2010 at 2:26 am | Report abuse |

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