The MTV Video Music Awards have taken a cue from the NFL and changed the start time of the event in order to avoid a costly conflict with the Democratic National Convention.
The VMAs had been originally scheduled for Thursday night at 9 pm, but was moved back to 8 pm so “its fans won’t have to choose between pop stars and President Barack Obama,” The Associated Press reported.
Pres. Obama is scheduled to give his speech accepting the Democratic nomination for another term as president Thursday night. His speech is set for 10 pm, a time that would have conflicted with the conclusion of the MTV Video Music Awards had it not started earlier.
The NFL also changed its schedule to avoid conflict, changing from the normal Thursday night kickoff to a Wednesday night start for its game between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants.
By moving its start time, the MTV Video Music Awards will be able to maintain its young demographic. The show has been a strong draw for young viewers and its overall ratings improving in recent years. The 2011 VMAs drew 12.4 million viewers, beating even broadcast networks for the most-watched show that week and becoming what is believed to be the highest-rated show MTV ever aired.
The MTV Video Music Awards have gained some early buzz, with performances from Taylor Swift, Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, and Nicki Minaj, among others.
With the earlier start, the MTV Video Music Awards will be able to avoid the conflict with the Democratic National Convention that itself has quite a bit of buzz. On Tuesday, speeches from San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and First Lady Michelle Obama earned great reviews, and Barack Obama’s acceptance speech is highly anticipated as viewers and political followers watch to see if he can deliver one of his patented game-changing speeches.