New York -- The 1999 MTV Video Music Awards show was
a hit, scoring as the highest-rated entertainment program in cable history, according to
Nielsen Media Research data supplied by MTV: Music Television.
The Sept. 9 awards telecast earned an 11.2 rating,
representing 8.2 million households. That rating -- a 37 percent increase over last
year's awards show -- was the highest ever for MTV, much less for its 16 years of
In MTV's target demographic -- 12- to 34-year-olds --
this year's awards show registered a 12.9 rating, reaching 7.9 million people in that
MTV held its three-hour awards ceremony at the Metropolitan
Opera House at Lincoln Center here. Some of the artists who appeared at the show, which
was hosted by comedian Chris Rock, were Madonna, Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Will Smith
MTV has been on a ratings roll this year after overhauling
In a prepared statement, MTV president Judy McGrath said,
"Because so many more people are watching [MTV] every day, we delivered a bigger
audience right out of the box."
McGrath added, "I'm most proud of the diversity
and creativity of the talent on the show. They truly reflect the moment in pop culture.
Where else do you see Buddy Hackett with The Blair Witch Project?"