SBD/5/Sports Media

BOWLED OVER BY RATINGS: ROSE BLOOMS AS ORANGE LOSES FLAVOR

          Overnight ratings from Nielsen Media Research indicate
     the Orange Bowl received an 11.4/19 for CBS on Friday, while
     the Rose Bowl earned a 19.0/33 for ABC on New Year's Day,
     according to Stephen Battaglio of the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. 
     The Orange Bowl rating, even if it is "bumped up" in final
     national ratings, "will be significantly below last year's
     championship game," the Sugar Bowl, which received a 17.9/29
     for ABC.  ABC's Rose Bowl rating was up 4% from '97.  In
     other New Year's Day bowl ratings, ABC received a 9.7/19 for
     the Citrus Bowl, up 17%, and an 11.7/19 for the Sugar Bowl,
     up 22% from last year's comparable game, the Fiesta Bowl. 
     CBS' Cotton Bowl was up 10% from '97, earning a 6.9/14
     (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 1/5).  In DC, John Carmody writes the
     Orange Bowl game "easily won a rare Friday night first place
     for CBS."  He also adds that ABC's Sugar Bowl gave the net a
     win on Thursday night (WASHINGTON POST, 1/5).     
          DIMINISHING RETURNS FOR BOWL GAMES? On ESPN SportsZone,
     Frank DeFord wrote that the "bowls have started to run into
     a little problem.  That is: Nobody much wants to go watch
     them. ... all the attention around New Year's now is devoted
     to the NFL playoffs" (ESPN SportsZone, 1/3).

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