SBD/4/Collegiate Sports


     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).
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).
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