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Latin Grammys Ratings See Decline

September 19, 2002

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NEW YORK (AP) _ There was little to sing about in the TV ratings for Latin Grammys organizers.

Wednesday night’s CBS telecast of the music awards show, highlighted by Alejandro Sanz’ sweep of the major categories, was seen by 4.2 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen Media Research ratings.

That’s a significant drop from the 7.5 million viewers who watched the first Latin Grammys two years ago. The 2001 ceremonies were canceled because of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The show was beaten by reruns on other networks. In the second half of the two-hour broadcast, NBC’s ``Law & Order″ had more than four times the viewers.

More ominously for the Latin Grammys, the awards show lost audience steadily through the night. An estimated 3.1 million people were watching in the last half hour when the major awards are given out.

Organizers of the Latin Grammys did not immediately return a call for comment Thursday about the ratings.

CBS has an option to televise the Latin Grammys for the duration of the network’s long-term contract to show the regular Grammy Awards in the winter.

Although the ratings Wednesday were disappointing, the Latin Grammys could still be potentially profitable to CBS because they attract advertisers eager to reach the Latin market.

``Believe it or not, there are times that we do things for other than big ratings and this is one of those times,″ said CBS Entertainment spokesman Chris Ender, adding he expected the event to make a lot of money.

CBS has made no decision on whether to broadcast the event in the future, he said.

In the awards, Spanish singer Sanz took the album, song and record of the year honors.

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