SBD/14/Sports Media

CBS PLEASED WITH MASTERS RATINGS, DESPITE DROP FROM '97

          CBS's coverage of Sunday's final round of The Masters
     earned a 9.9/26 rating, making it the fourth-highest final
     round ever, and the second-highest this decade.  Saturday's
     third round coverage scored a 6.9/19, the second-highest
     Saturday rating ever for the event.  CBS's coverage of The
     Masters won every half-hour on both days (CBS).  Sunday's
     rating was down 37% from last year's 15.8/32, which was the
     highest ever (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/14).  CBS's two-day average
     of 8.6, although down 33% from '97, was the second-highest
     rating for The Masters since '86 (USA TODAY, 4/14).
          REVIEWS & REAX: CBS is receiving generally positive
     reviews for its coverage.  In N.Y., Bob Raissman writes that
     the tournament "provided incredible drama.  And CBS coverage
     captured every ounce of it" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/14).  In
     Toronto, Rob Longley called CBS's new strategy of "having
     [Ken] Venturi carry most of the analysis, interacting with
     the respective announcers on each hole ... a stroke of
     genius."  Longley: "Mercifully, CBS eased up on its tendency
     to over-hype Tiger Woods" (TORONTO SUN, 4/13).  In Detroit,
     Steve Crowe wrote on the coverage under the header, "CBS
     Makes The Right Call Staying Out Of The Woods" (DETROIT FREE
     PRESS, 4/13).  But in N.Y., Richard Sandomir cites CBS's
     sparse coverage of Woods on Sunday and writes, "No wonder
     Sunday's ... rating fell" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/14).
          ACROSS THE USA: USA Network's second round coverage of
     The Masters on Friday got a 3.9 rating, which USA states
     makes it the most watched live golf event in the history of
     cable TV.  The net broke its own record of 3.6, set for last
     year's second round coverage of The Masters.  Thursday's
     coverage earned a 3.1, the highest first round rating ever.
     The two-day average of 3.5 was up 17% over '97 (USA).

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