MTV's Music Video Awards top broadcast entries

By DAVID BAUDER | August 30, 2011 | 5:15 PM EDT

RE-TRANS FOR IMPROVED TONING - Jay-Z, left, and Kanye West perform at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)

NEW YORK (AP) — MTV was responsible for a television rarity last week.

The Nielsen Co. said the most popular TV show on the air during the past week was on cable, not on broadcast. It was MTV's Sunday airing of the Video Music Awards, seen by 12.44 million people. The broadcast show with the biggest audience was Tuesday's edition of "America's Got Talent" on NBC.

It's not clear how many times cable shows have surpassed broadcast ones, although it did happen in 2007 when the Disney Channel premiered the movie "High School Musical 2."

It didn't hurt that it was late summer, and broadcast schedules were clogged with repeats and reality shows.