Now that the Spike Video Game Awards are a faint recollection, Variety reports that the quality piece of programming was way down in the ratings. This year's event sideshow was down 26%, with about 680,000 viewers, says the high lord of television ratings, Nielsen. It's the second lowest (a little above 2006's 618k) rated year since the show started in 2004, which was its most impressive with 1.23 million viewers.

It gets worse: Spike caters to the key 18-34 male demographic, which was down 29% from the prior year, with its lowest ever figures of 229,000 viewers.* Boys 12-17 were up by 30% to 199k. Variety does note that this year's show did go against some program called the Cowboys-Giants football game on NBC, which was the highest rated Sunday Night Football game ever. Still, those Spike numbers aren't too hot in a year that could become the biggest sales year in gaming history.

*Fun fact: 34,000 women aged 18-34 watched.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.