MTV Sets Nielsen Marks with VMAs

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The 19th version of MTV: Music Television's Video Music
was its best relative to its reception among Nielsen Media Research

The premiere of the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards averaged 11.9 million
viewers Aug. 29, making it the most-watched awards show in the network's

The 2002 VMA's 8.3 household rating was the highest in basic cable
this year, and the show also outdelivered all broadcast networks in primetime
that evening, according to the network,

The show, captured live from Radio City Music Hall in New York, also
delivered big-time among MTV's core audience, registered a 11.1 rating among
persons 12 through 34, a 5 percent advance from the 2001 show.

That performance made the 2002 VMAs the most-watched program this year
among that demo group, while Thursday night's show now stands as the
second-highest rated telecast among persons 12 through 34 in the network's
history, trailing only the 1999 VMAs for that distinction.

In addition to the main telecast, both the preshow and the postshow segments
received double-digit ratings gains. The preshow ratings were up 16 percent
among the 12-through-34 set, while the postshow expanded 33 percent to a 7.0
with that group.

A network spokeswoman said cumulative numbers for the show's multiple encores
won't be available from Nielsen until Wednesday due to the Labor Day

The 2002 VMAs were hosted by Jimmy Fallon and featured performances
from Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Shakira and a re-formed Guns N'

Rapper Eminem led the way among the award-winners capturing four 'Moonman'
statues, including 'Best Video of the Year' for 'Without Me.'