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The Celtics will move their radio broadcasts to WRKO-AM from all-sports WEEI. The switch assures the team will have all preseason, regular season games, and any post-season games on one outlet. Spencer Ross and Cedric Maxwell will be the broadcast team (Celtics)....TBS's coverage of the UAW-GM 500 Sunday from Charlotte received a 3.4 rating, "Turner's highest rating in seven years of covering the race" (Michael Hiestand, USA TODAY, 10/12)...NESN will cover 18 AHL games this season in a Friday Night game of the week package (NESN)....ESPN's Extreme Games will return to Rhode Island in June '96 (ESPN)....Procter & Gamble Co. and Gatorade have signed on as charter sponsors of the NewSport TV network in multi-year deals. Both sponsors will receive multiple 30-second spots, logo placement on NewSport's Scorebox, program billboards, and other areas (NewSport)....CBS Inc. reported a 43% drop in third-quarter net income on "slightly higher profits." Lower ratings were cited as a reason (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/12). NEWSDAY reports CBS' poor start to the fall season (prime time ratings are off 19% from last year) could cause millions in make-goods to advertisers (NEWSDAY, 10/12).
Tuesday Night's LCS opener got a ABC 14.6 Nielsen rating, the highest LCS rating since the Mets and Dodgers generated a 16.4 in '88. The rating is also 29% higher than LCS numbers from '93. In Seattle, the Mariners-Indians drew a 47.9 rating, while getting a 45.8 in Cleveland. Cincinnati drew a 31.6 for the Braves-Reds, while Atlanta drew a 30.2 (Prentis Rogers, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 10/12). ABC BURNED BY SPORTS: NBC placed first in prime-time Nielson ratings for the first time in nine weeks, pushing ABC to second place. Tom Bierbaum reports in this morning's VARIETY that ABC's loss can be partially blamed on "its weakest Monday Night Football telecast of the season," and three nights of baseball coverage. However, Bierbaum notes "the new and controversial baseball playoff format managed generally competitive prime time numbers. ... Though the week's five game average -- a 10.5 rating, 20 share -- equals the previous lowest rating for a single playoff baseball telecast since" October '91. Then again, Bierbaum writes that "baseball's sagging popularity relative to football's is demonstrated by the fact that there's only been one 'Monday Night Football' telecast in 15 years (and probably ever) lower-rated than any of last week's five playoff baseball games" (DAILY VARIETY, 10/12). OTHER NOTES: ABC yesterday took the heat for the decision to sign off from Tuesday's Mariners-Indians game and not carry extra innings of Reds-Braves. ABC Sports spokesperson Mark Mandel said covering sports "is a great burden on our affiliates and we do everything to get them back to their local programming" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/12). ....In USA TODAY, Michael Hiestand writes MLB should accept the criticism for problems with The Baseball Network, not the networks. Hiestand notes it is "MLB's responsibility, not TV's to protect its fans" (USA TODAY, 10/12).