SBD/19/Sports Media

NIELSEN NUMBERS INDICATE CBS HITTING TARGET DEMO WITH HOOPS

          Although CBS' ratings of the NCAA Men's Basketball
     Tournament first and second rounds are up over the
     tournament's last few years, it "has interrupted momentum
     built by CBS Entertainment," according to USA TODAY's Rudy
     Martzke.  CBS had won the previous two weeks in primetime
     ratings, but was second last week when ratings dropped 6%. 
     During the first three nights of the tournament -- Thursday,
     Friday and Saturday -- CBS' ratings were down 12% from the
     previous week.  CBS Sports President Sean McManus says he is
     "concerned," adding, "We'll figure out a way for the
     tournament to work financially so it won't be a financial
     albatross in the future."  But Grey Advertising's Jon Mandel
     says the tournament "is more than a couple of games in
     primetime.  You're bringing an audience to the set you might
     not have" (USA TODAY, 3/19).  
          MACHO MEN: Numbers from Nielsen Media showed CBS' NCAA
     coverage "more than doubled" the net's regularly scheduled
     Thursday average among men 25-54 and men 18-49.  CBS won
     Friday night among men 25-54, and was No. 2 among men 18-49. 
     On Saturday, CBS won the night among homes and total
     viewers.  It "also took the night in adults 25-54 and all
     key male demos" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 3/19).
          PPV PLUG: In Orlando, Alan Schmadtke: "If you looked
     closely at the first- and second-round NCAA Tournament
     games, you noticed plenty of fans disguised as empty seats. 
     Sadly, welcome to the era of television.  Suggestion for the
     NCAA: pay-per-view.  Unlike the one-time event like boxing,
     nobody's going to get ripped off paying for the NCAA
     Tournament, particularly when you are guaranteed of seeing
     the game(s) you want" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 3/19).

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CBS, NCAA, Nielsen, Media, Viacom

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