More than 2.3 million people tuned in to watch the 21st MTV Europe Music Awards in Glasgow, where rock veteran Ozzy Osbourne was hailed "global icon".
An average audience of 551,000 viewers watched the show on its first free-to-air broadcast on Channel 5, as well as an additional 97,000 across MTV UK and its sister service MTV Music.
The collective audience across the three channels peaked at 873,000 people (aged four and over) at just after 10pm, according to Broadcasters Audience Research Board (BARB) figures.
US hip hop artist Nicki Minaj hosted the two-hour event at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, which saw One Direction top the award list with three trophies for best pop act, best live show and biggest fans.
The boy band did not attend the awards but thanked MTV in a video clip, as did Katy Perry who won best video and best look.
US singer and actress Ariana Grande picked up two awards for best female and best song for her hit Problem.
Pharrell Williams lost out on best male to Justin Bieber.
Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy watched as Guns N'Roses guitarist Slash and Biffy Clyro's Simon Neil teamed up for a fiery rendition of his 1980 hit Crazy Train.
Introducing a montage of Ozzy's "best bits", including clips from his family's hit reality show, guitar hero Slash told the audience: "For four decades the Prince of Darkness has rocked anyone who dared to listen.
"This is a guy who does not know how to do ordinary. He scares the hell out of most people and all bats. But to me is a gentle man and a gentleman."
Collecting the Global Icon award, Ozzy said: "I don't know where they got this icon s*** from but it's good to be here tonight. God bless you all, thank you for coming."
Wife Sharon, who accompanied him to the event, said earlier on the red carpet: "I'm so proud. It's his night. I just want him to have the best time."
The packed show featured performances by U2, Ed Sheeran and Alicia Keys, but DJ Calvin Harris pulled out on Saturday due to illness and is reported to have had a heart scare.
It was Glasgow's first time hosting the MTV EMAs which have previously been held in London, Liverpool, Belfast and Edinburgh.
The combined audience figures matched the record overnight ratings for the show the last time it visited Scotland when it was hosted by Edinburgh in 2003.
It was also more than three times the overnight audience that watched on MTV the last time the MTV EMA were staged in the UK in Belfast in 2011 when the average overnight audience was 216,000.
This year's theme was time travel and there were nostalgic moments as clips were shown from some of the previous 20 ceremonies, beginning in Berlin in 1994.
Kilt-clad David Hasselhoff, who presented best female to Ariana Grande, said he was sorry not to be in the German capital for yesterday's celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Wall.
The Hoff enjoys a successful music career in the German-speaking world and famously performed the song Looking For Freedom at the Wall in 1989.
He said: "I couldn't be there tonight but I'll be back in Berlin. They know my heart belongs to them.
"You know, I had nothing to do with bringing down the wall, I just sang a song about freedom and it happened to be the right song at the right time."
Here is the complete list of the MTV EMA 2014 winners:
Best Song: Ariana Grande Problem ft Iggy Azalea
Best Pop: One Direction
Best Female: Ariana Grande
Best Male: Justin Bieber
Best Live: One Direction
Best New: 5 Seconds of Summer
Best Video: Katy Perry Dark Horse ft Juicy J
Best Rock: Linkin Park
Best Alternative: Thirty Seconds To Mars
Best Hip Hop: Nicki Minaj
Best Electronic: Calvin Harris
Biggest Fans: One Direction
Best Look: Katy Perry
Best PUSH: 5 Seconds of Summer
Best World Stage: Enrique Iglesias
Worldwide Act: Bibi Zhou
Global Icon: Ozzy Osbourne