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  • WOMENS HOOPS TAKES A SPIN IN THE SPOTLIGHT

         RATINGS FOR FINAL TOP NHL:  Ratings for CBS' telecast of the
    UConn-Tennessee Women's Final on Sunday were up 93% with a 5.6,
    according to preliminary Nielsen overnights.  The game more than
    doubled Fox's NHL coverage, which generated a national rating of
    2.1 (N.Y. TIMES, 4/4)....More ratings:  the women's semifinals
    were up 13% to 3.6.  The mens' Oklahoma St.-UCLA matchup
    generated an 11.1 rating and UNC-Arkansas a 12.2.  Combined, the
    mens ratings were down 3%, with the late UNC-Arkansas game off 6%
    from last year's Duke-Florida matchup.  CBS' Billy Packer:
    "You're telling me that twice as many people watched the women's
    title game than watched (men's) Kentucky-Arkansas in the regular
    season? ... And more people watched the women's game than Bob
    Hope's golf tournament? No way.  Then, I can't see anyone paying
    any attention to any of the ratings. ... The TV ratings are
    parallel to the SAT scores.  They are both used by lazy people
    who don't have the time to talk about reality" (Rudy Martzke, USA
    TODAY, 4/4).
         CORPORATIONS TAKE NOTICE:  BUSINESS WEEK profiled the
    growing interest of corporate America in women's basketball.
    Joan Hamilton reports, "Corporate America is waking up to the
    same things fans are: These women can play."  Hamilton points out
    that advertisers had bought up CBS' 40 spots for the Final Four
    by January and that the game is attracting "well-educated,
    family-oriented fans and, not surprisingly, more women (read: the
    people who make household buying decisions)."  Wells Fargo Brand
    Manager Andy Anderson said their ads for women's sports and
    cable-TV broadcasts "get the same exposure for a fourth of the
    cost of working with men's programs."  Exposure will only improve
    as 20 more women's telecasts will be on TV due to the NCAA's new
    seven-year contract with ESPN (BUSINESS WEEK, 4/10 issue).
         NEXT YEAR:  ESPN, which bought the rights to the women's
    Final Four for next season, is changing the format.  In '96, the
    semifinals will be moved from Saturday to Friday, giving the
    teams a day off.  Also, the regionals will be moved from a
    Thursday-Saturday format to Saturday-Monday to avoid conflicts
    with the men's regionals.  ESPN and ESPN2 will televise 23 '96
    tournament games (ESPN).
         TO THE HOOP:  USA Basketball has hired NBA Properties to
    market the women's team.  The deal is worth $3M (USA TODAY,
    4/4).... Player of the Year Rebecca Lobo will appear on
    "Letterman" tonight (Mult, 4/4).  Lobo says she will play in
    Europe next season, but is likely to be asked to tryout for the
    U.S. team next month in Colorado Springs.  The team will be put
    together a year ahead of the Olympics and players will be paid
    around $50,000 each (AP/WASHINGTON TIMES, 4/4)....Organizers of
    the National Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Jackson, TN, are
    looking for ways to make up a $5M construction shortfall (USA
    TODAY, 4/4).
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, Colleges, ESPN, NBA, NCAA, News Corp./Fox, NHL, Nielsen, Viacom, Walt Disney
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