Lifetime Reigns, MTV Soars for Week


Lifetime Television wore the crown, but MTV: Music Television, led by the
2002 Video Music Awards, more than doubled its primetime rating last week
compared with its summer-2002 performance.

Buoyed by the 8.3 household rating delivered by the Aug. 29 VMAs show
from Radio City Music Hall in New York, MTV posted a 1.9 household average for
the week of Aug. 26 through Sept. 1. That compares with a 0.9 primetime average
for the Viacom Inc. network during summer 2002, spanning May 27 through Aug. 25,
and a 0.7 average last month.

The event was basic cable's highest-rated program to date this year,
according to MTV. Still, the awards show was down 4 percent from the 8.56 rating
it generated in 2001.

The VMAs also put MTV within 0.3 points of Lifetime, which led the
basic-cable pack with a 2.2 average for the week, according to a Turner
Entertainment Research analysis of Nielsen Media Research data.

Turner Network Television and Nickelodeon were tied for third with a 1.7
primetime average, ahead of Cartoon Network's 1.6.

Rounding out the top 10 in primetime last week: TBS Superstation with a 1.5;
A&E Network with a 1.4; ESPN with a 1.2; and USA Network and The Learning
Channel, each with a 1.1 average.

The VMAs -- featuring performances by Bruce Springsteen, Shakira, The
Vines, The Hives and a re-formed Guns N' Roses -- also gave MTV a clean sweep of
the adult demo charts. The network averaged 1.18 million viewers 18 through 34,
1.59 million among the 18-through-49 set and 1.10 million 25-through-54

TNT was second among adults 18 through 34 and 18 through 49, while Lifetime
held that distinction among the older adult group.

Among the total-day competition, Nick, per usual, was first with a 1.5,
followed by Lifetime's 1.3, Cartoon's 1.1 and TNT and A&E, each with a

TNT's coverage of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing's
Winston Cup race, the Mountain Dew Southern 500, was the second-highest-rated
show of the week, earning a 5.0 over 4 hours and 40 minutes Sept 1. The
VMAs postshow was third with a 5.1.

TNN: The National Network's presentation of World Wrestling Entertainment
Inc. fare Aug. 26 was good for the fourth and fifth positions of the