he Spike TV VGX Awards hosted on December 7th draw over 1 million viewers, Viacom confirmed to Polygon.
Formerly known as the VGA Awards, the VGX Awards drew 1.1 million viewers despite the ceremony not being broadcasted live on Spike TV’s cable channel as it had been in previous years, instead being broadcasted online via the VGX Awards website, Twitch TV, Xbox and many more streaming channels.
Viewers spent an average 32 minutes watching the 3 hour show, exceeding Viacom’s expectations according to Viacom Entertainment Group Executive Vice President, Erik Flannigan.
He said: “Maybe the distribution of where the views came from was different than we may have thought, but we knew the consoles may be heavy and they were. In terms of total streams, we were very, very pleased. I think the number that shocked us most was the 32 minute session time. The idea that people were watching longer than a half hour show on television was, that was way beyond our wildest dreams.”
Despite the success of the show’s ratings, the show itself draw enormous amounts of backlash from viewers for its format and its celebrity guest host, comedian/actor Joel McHale, who garnered criticism for his awkwardness, his jokes and for seeming to be un-motivated or enthusiastic to be hosting the show.
But despite the criticism, Flannigan said McHale could be considered to host next year’s award show. He also said that he wasn’t surprised at the criticism from gamers because they are “hyper-critical”.
He said: “You take Joel’s very funny, snarky detached point of view he can bring sometimes and you throw that into a bunch of gamers who are about as hyper-critical as you can be, and I say this as a reflection of their passion and their interest, and we gave him a three hour show where they are sitting on their computers looking for something else to do when they watch. What are they going to do? They’re going to post on message boards and they’re going to tweet about it. It was kind of a formula for feedback and Joel became the place where they pointed a lot of their attention.”
Talks for next year’s show is currently underway and Casey Patterson, Executive Vice President of Event Production, assures fans that the producers are continuing to listen to their feedback, both good and bad.
She said: “The only thing we can do is assure gamers that we are listening. They can tell from the show we built this year that we like them talking to us. Good, bad, ugly, we want to them to continue to talk to us at the decibel that they have been.”