SBD/18/Sports Media

ESPN'S CUP RATINGS DOWN 57% FROM '97; WOE, CANADA DOWN TOO

          ESPN said that ratings for its three-game coverage of
     the NHL Stanley Cup Finals dropped 57% from last year,
     according to Michael Starr of the N.Y. POST.  ESPN averaged
     a 2.6 rating, with 1.9 million viewers, compared to the 4.1,
     with 2.9 million viewers, it averaged for three games last
     year.  Fox earned a 3.3 rating for its coverage of Game One
     of the Finals, down from last year's 4.0 (N.Y. POST, 6/18).
          NO SEE-BC? CBC's Stanley Cup ratings, which "suffered
     throughout the playoffs, took an ever great hit during the
     finals."  Ratings for the first three Capitals-Red Wings
     games averaged 1.38 million viewers, down 34% from last
     year's finals average of 2.08 million.  CBC Sports Dir Alan
     Clark said he was not displeased with the numbers since no
     Canadian teams were featured (TORONTO STAR, 6/18).

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