By Michael O'Connell Posted September 15, 2009, 12:03 PM EDT
NEW YORK Sunday's broadcast of the MTV Video Music Awards marked a boon in ratings for the show, which aired on MTV and was simulcast on sister networks MTV2 and VH1 for the first time in its 26-year history. Viewership of the festivities on MTV increased by 6 percent over last year to an average 8.97 million, and the 2 million contributed by MTV2 and VH1 bring the grand total close to 11 million.
It's been a long journey back to those numbers, the event's highest since 2004. The VMAs have been slowly climbing back from the 2006 broadcast, which attracted a record low audience of fewer than six million.
And this year's numbers look even better if you're reading the press materials sent out by the network itself. Counting viewers who tuned in to the awards at any point during the broadcast on any of the three channels, MTV estimates that 27 million viewers caught the show.