The Billboard Music Awards had a viewing audience of 9.47 million, a 28 percent spike over 2012's audience of 7.4 million viewers, Nielsen reported. The show was No. 1 Sunday night in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic, pulling in 4.6 million viewers in the age group.
It's the highest ratings for the BBMAs in 12 years. Combined with the season finale of "America's Funniest Home Videos," ABC won the night with an overall rating of 3.1 in the 18-49 demo. All other networks were below 1.8. All numbers are part of Nielsen's "fast national ratings"; final numbers will be released later today.
In terms of the demo, the same number of people between the ages of 18 and 49 watched the Billboard Music Awards as last week's finale of "American Idol."
The night's other music program, "ACM Presents: Tim McGraw’ Superstar Summer Night" on CBS, was watched by 6.2 million viewers, with an audience of 1.53 million in the 18-49 group.
The demographic numbers for programs in May are important as they are used to establish advertising rates in the coming season.