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NIELSEN NUMBERS INDICATE CBS HITTING TARGET DEMO WITH HOOPS
Published March 19, 1997
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).