Perhaps it was the faux promise of a Beyonce and Jay Z appearance? Or maybe it was the highly-anticipated just-got-out-of-prison Chris Brown performance? Whatever it was, a whopping 7.9 million viewers tuned in for Sunday’s BET Awards, according to The Wrap. That’s the second-highest figure since 2009 — the year BET commemorated the King of Pop.
The BET Awards outdid its competitor, the MTV Awards, which reeled in a measly 3.2 million. Whomp whomp.
This year’s viewership is up from 7.8 million, when Chris Tucker hosted the night in 2013. This year, another Chris rocked the BET Awards stage — and Rock just couldn’t help but call Paris Hilton a “Kardashian” and Rick Ross a “Black Santa Claus.” The star-studded show — and Rock’s one-liners — elicited 11 million tweets by 1.1 million authors.
The social media chatter overshadowed the Billboard Music Awards, Golden Globes, People’s Choice Awards, NBA Finals, and the World Cup USA vs. Portugal game. The tweets were talkin’! With a surprise performance from Missy Elliott, an electrifying Loyal spectacle from Chris Brown, and Nicki Minaj’s Iggy Azalea diss, it’s a surprise that Twitter did not explode.
“The live premiere of the BET Awards ’14 on Sunday…” TheFutonCritic said, “is cable’s #1 award show this season.”
As for the second-annual BET Experience (the network’s three-day L.A.music festival), there were some impressive numbers there, too. The shindig, sponsored by 15 brands (including Candy Crush Saga and Coca Cola), attracted more than 112,000 fans — up 10 percent from last year’s attendance.
The BET Experience included free events such as the Sprite-sponsored celebrity basketball game with Justin Bieber, Snoop Dogg, and Chris Brown. And of course, the 106 & Park BET Awards special with Keisha Chante and Bow Wow.
If you wanted to rub elbows with some real celebrities, a ticket into the BET Awards would cost you $1,095 to $4,395, according to LA Times. Whew! Maybe Chris Rock was right — the BET Awards truly is the “Black World Cup.”