MTV VMAs Will Stay in New Jersey for September Premiere

The time and place for MTV’s 2023 Video Music Awards have been set. The VMAs will air live globally on Tuesday, Sept. 12, at 8 p.m. ET. The awards show is returning to New Jersey’s Prudential Center, marking the third time in three years the Newark venue has hosted the event.

More than 150 countries will be able to watch live as MTV honors the best music videos of the past year. The network also boasted in its Tuesday announcement that the event will include “unforgettable performances, epic tributes and show-stopping appearances from music’s biggest stars.”

“We’re thrilled to be returning to the Prudential Center in Newark for this year’s VMAs!” Bruce Gillmer, president of music, music talent, programming and events for Paramount and chief content officer of music for Paramount+, said. “Celebrating one of our biggest nights in music with the Garden State’s incredible fans has been our goal since last year’s highly successful event.”

“We are incredibly proud to have the Prudential Center once again serve as the home for the 40th Annual MTV Video Music Awards,” Jake Reynolds, president of the Prudential Center, added. “We appreciate the ability to continue our long-standing partnership with MTV and look forward to an amazing evening.”

During a time when awards shows have been losing audiences in droves, the VMAs have done fairly well in the ratings. In 2021, the awards show brought in a 0.9 rating among adults 18-49. Though that was a 17% decrease from 2020’s numbers, that drop was minimal compared to other awards shows that had lost roughly 50% of their audiences from year-to-year. Then, in 2022, the VMAs gained 3% in viewership, attracting 3.9 million linear viewers. During that show, Bad Bunny won Artist of the Year and Billie Eilish won Song of the Year for “Happier Than Ever.”

From its very first show in 1984, when Madonna performed “Like a Virgin” in combination bustier and wedding gown, the VMAs have been a major part of celebrity and pop culture. For several decades, winning an astronaut statue was a major honor in the music industry. But over the years, the award show’s prestigious reputation has declined. Lately, the performances and celebrity sightings have become more important than who wins or loses.

This will be MTV’s second big awards show of 2023. The Paramount-owned channel had to scramble in May for the Movie and TV Awards, an event that was heavily disrupted due to the WGA strike. It remains to be seen how the ongoing strike will impact the VMAs.

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