Madonna appears in the press room at the MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on Monday, Aug. 20, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

MTV arrests steep decline in its video awards show

August 21, 2018 - 4:55 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — Madonna may have had a lousy night at the MTV Video Music Awards, but it was better for the network's executives.

MTV appears to have slowed the show's precipitous decline in interest over the past few years. The Nielsen company estimated that some 5.23 million people watched the awards on Monday night, down from the 5.68 million who watched the year before — a drop, but not as significant as in previous years.

MTV noted that it was the top-rated program across all of cable and broadcast television among viewers aged 18 to 34. And the network pointed to encouraging signs for the amount of people who experienced the event digitally, which is increasingly how young people experience traditional television.

Madonna was criticized for a speech following an Aretha Franklin tribute that was more about her than the Queen of Soul.

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