World Cup's Overnight Rating Tops '99 Final Video Game Suit Settlement Terms Revealed NBC Generally Praised For NASCAR Coverage Turner Sports Reinstates Greg Anthony Expectations High For NASCAR On NBC Female Audience Strong For World Cup ESPN Denies Wanting To Dial Down Olbermann IndyCar Gets Best Cable Audience In Years Xfinity Series Audience Lower On Fox Sports U.S.-Germany Sets Fox Soccer Record
CBS EARNS HIGHEST MEN'S TOURNAMENT RATINGS IN FOUR YEARS
Published March 24, 1998
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).