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  • CBS EARNS HIGHEST MEN'S TOURNAMENT RATINGS IN FOUR YEARS

              An NCAA men's basketball tournament of "buzzer-beaters,
         upsets and feel-good stories" has helped CBS to its highest
         ratings for the event in four years, according to the
         HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.  Through Sunday's regional finals, CBS's
         NCAA men's coverage averaged a 6.2/13, 1% higher than last
         year's 6.1/14 and the "best since" '94's 6.6/15.  Three of
         last weekend's games "posted gains" from the previous year. 
         Saturday's UConn-UNC game earned an 8.2, up 9% from '97,
         while Sunday's Stanford-URI received a 6.4, up 5%, and Duke-
         Kentucky recorded a 9.9, up 11%.  The Duke-Kentucky game was
         the "highest rated regional final since" Michigan-Arkansas
         got a 10.1 in '94 (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 3/24).  In Dallas,
         Richard Alm notes that, due to the viewer demos for the
         tournament, CBS "isn't complaining about the" $213M rights
         fee it is paying for '98.  The average tourney watchers have
         incomes 30% higher than the national average, and 70% own
         their own homes.  Also, 40% of the audience are women, "high
         for sports events."  CBS Sports VP/Programming Mike Aresco:
         "Young, college-educated men are a very hard to reach
         demographic segment.  And this, by far, is the best vehicle
         to reach them" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/24).
              CBS NOTES: In N.Y., Bob Raissman calls CBS's production
         on Duke-KY "first-rate," and adds "so was the call of Jim
         Nantz and Billy Packer" (N.Y DAILY NEWS, 3/24).  Also in
         N.Y., Richard Sandomir writes on Packer:  "If the full
         measure of an analyst is whether a viewer learns something
         ... Packer gets high marks" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/24).  But in
         Boston, Howard Manly writes that the presence of ex-coaches
         Al McGuire and Dean Smith in the net's lineup "may be good
         for name recognition but lousy for insightful analysis. 
         Neither criticizes his coaching brethren" (BOSTON GLOBE,
         3/24).  Former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley will join CBS on
         this weekend's coverage of the men's Final Four (CBS). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, NCAA, Media, Viacom
  • MEDIA NOTES

              TV/VIDEO: Evander Holyfield will defend his WBA
         heavyweight title against Henry Akinwande on June 6 at MSG. 
         Showtime will handle PPV distribution for the fight (N.Y
         DAILY NEWS, 3/24)....BROADCASTING & CABLE's John Higgins
         writes that Cablevision Chair Charles Dolan's interest in
         buying the Yankees may stem from SportsChannel's experience
         in Philadelphia, where Comcast took control of the 76ers and
         Flyers and launched Comcast SportsNet.  One media exec:
         "Chuck learned his lesson in Philadelphia" (BROADCASTING &
         CABLE, 3/23)....After CBS "failed to offer" Marcus Allen the
         job he sought with the network, Allen will return to the
         Chiefs for the final year of his contract (K.C. STAR, 3/24).
              PUBLISHING: In Akron, Michael Weinreb reviews ESPN
         Magazine, calling it SI "for slackers."  Weinreb: "What I
         want from a sports magazine is simple: Compelling writing,
         great photography.  The Magazine has that.  Now I wish they
         would cool it with the inside jokes" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL,
         3/24)....The Sporting News' VP/Sales Jay Burzon told AD
         AGE's James Brady that after TSN's December relaunch, ad
         pages are up 89% in January (AD AGE, 3/23 issue).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, CBS, Comcast-Spectacor, ESPN, Kansas City Chiefs, Madison Square Garden, New York Yankees, Philadelphia 76ers, Philadelphia Flyers, Showtime, Sports Illustrated, Media, Viacom, Vulcan Ventures, Walt Disney, YankeeNets
  • NFL EUROPE GEARS UP FOR SEASON WITH NEW TV DEALS, SPONSORS

              In its ongoing effort to "expand globally," the NFL has
         inked "several" new TV-rights deals overseas, signed new
         sponsors for its NFL Europe League (NFLE), and set "new"
         int'l TV programming plans for the '98-99 season, according
         to Langdon Brockinton of MEDIAWEEK.  German net SAT.1 has
         become an NFL TV partner, and will televise a season preview
         show, the '99 Super Bowl, and a weekly NFLE highlights show. 
         In the U.S., NFLE gets weekly coverage on FSN and DirecTV,
         with the Fox network carrying NFLE's June 14 title game. 
         Puma, Nabisco and Monsanto have reportedly bought ad time on
         FSN's NFLE coverage, and "some" official NFL sponsors will
         "likely get inventory" on FSN "as part of their packages." 
         NFLE also has new TV deals with Spain's TV3, Holland's
         Veronica and FSWo.  NFLE has signed a two-year sponsorship
         with German footwear company Deichmann, and Kellogg and
         Ericsson have signed teams sponsorships with the London
         Monarchs and Rhein Fire, respectively.  In other news, NFL
         Int'l (NFLI) will intro new NFL Films-produced programs for
         overseas airing next season, including "Rules of the Game,"
         a series of 30-second "vignettes explaining the basics of
         pro football." NFLI will also make "several" prime-time
         specials available internationally (MEDIAWEEK, 3/23).
    
    

    Print | Tags: DirecTV, Nabisco, News Corp./Fox, NFL, NFLE, Puma, Media
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