SBD/6/Sports Media

WHERE HAVE ALL THE COWBOYS GONE? NFL PLAYOFF RATINGS DOWN

          There was a combined 10% drop for Fox and NBC in
     overnight ratings for its four NFL divisional playoff games
     last weekend, and USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke writes that it
     "reflected the absence of the popular Cowboys."  Sunday's
     Bucs-Packers posted a 21.4 overnight -- down 25% from last
     year's 28.6 for Panthers-Cowboys.  NBC's Broncos-Chiefs
     Sunday game saw an 11% rise, earning a 25.0 overnight, up
     from last year's 22.6 for Steelers-Patriots.  Both games on
     Saturday saw a drop, with NBC's Patriots-Steelers falling
     13% to 17.8 and Fox's Vikings-49ers falling 12% to 20.2 (USA
     TODAY, 1/6).  In Houston, David Barron notes that the
     Divisional Playoff ratings drop follows a 5% drop for the
     Wild Card games (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 1/6).  
          CT LOVES ITS HOOPS: In N.Y., Harvey Araton notes in his
     column on women's college basketball that Saturday's
     Tennessee-UConn game outrated the Vikings-49ers game by 4%
     in the Hartford, CT, market (N.Y. TIMES, 1/6).
          THE BEST OF THE BEST: In N.Y., Richard Sandomir looks
     at the NFL broadcast teams for both Fox and NBC.  Sandomir:
     "Fox's John Madden still reigns supreme. ... NBC's threesome
     of Dick Enberg, Phil Simms and Paul Maguire, which will
     continue its act through the Super Bowl, is a rather smooth-
     running democracy.  Fox's team is more of a benevolent
     dictatorship, orchestrated by the hyperkinetic Madden, with
     help from the very low-key Pat Summerall" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/6).
          COMING HOME? Sources say that CBS "is expected to tell
     the NFL this week or next what it is willing to pay for
     various TV packages, most likely the AFC package ... and the
     Monday night package," according to BROADCASTING & CABLE.  A
     source adds that once CBS reveals its offer, "deals will get
     done 'within a day or two.'"  Another source says that the
     NFL "wants this done by mid-January, and it will likely get
     done by then" (BROADCASTING & CABLE, 1/5 issue).

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