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The Game of Thrones Finale Crushed the VMAs

MTV’s 34th annual Video Music Awards aired on Sunday, which was the same night as the Game of Thrones season finale. (There was also plenty of other stuff: Twin Peaks‘ penultimate episode, a new Rick and Morty episode, a one-off Tim and Eric special, for example.) In any case, this year VMAs, which featured everything from Ed Sheeran singing snippets of “XO Tour Llif3” to Rod Stewart and DNCE performing “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy” to Milo Yiannopoulos, had less than half the viewership of the GoT finale. The Associated Press reported yesterday that only 5.4 million viewers tuned into the awards, down from 6.5 million last year. Game of Thrones clocked in with 12.07 million.

The AP acknowledges that this does not count online streams (the show can now be officially streamed with a cable login), which may have been a popular option with the show’s core audience of teenagers. According to Nielsen and the AP’s report, MTV did win out with one demographic: More teenagers watched the VMAs than GoT. Only the VMAs had Ed Sheeran on it this time, after all.