CNN's Lou Dobbs: "Dismal ratings, lost affiliates, broken
deals. It has been a rough year for broadcast television network
CBS. This week another dose of bad news. CBS reported a 51%
plunge in its profits. The network blames higher taxes and
falling sales from losing the rights to broadcast professional
football and baseball" ("Money Week," CNN, 10/16). Across its
schedule, CBS is about 8% short of the ratings it guaranteed
advertisers, meaning it will have to give them free additional
ads. CBS President Howard Stringer: "It's a little too early to
be concerned" (Elizabeth Jensen, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/17).
Letterman's Top Ten on Friday night was "Ways CBS Can Improve Its
Prime Time Ratings." No. 5: "Show some football games!
Everybody loves football games!" ("Late Show," CBS, 10/14).
While the NHL lockout continues, ESPN is plugging gaps in
their programming with mountain biking, reruns of last year's
Stanley Cup, and rescheduled college football games. ESPN2 is
making do with minor league hockey and body- building, and Prime
Network is offering an eight-game Arizona Fall baseball League
package (AP/GREENSBORO NEWS & RECORD, 10/15)....Viacom's
Paramount Stations Group has agreed to buy two independent
television stations from Combined Broadcasting, WGBS in
Philadelphia and WBFS in Miami (WALL STREET JOURNAL,
10/17)....Going into yesterday's game against the Patriots, the
Jets' average Nielsen rating in N.Y. has fallen four full points
since last year, which translates to a loss of 268,000 homes per
telecast (N.Y. NEWSDAY, 10/14)...."75 Seasons," the story of the
NFL which recently appeared on TNT, is now available from
PolyGram Video at video stores (The NFL).....The final Nielsen
rating for "Baseball" was a 5.1. PBS projects that 28M people
saw it all or in part (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/16)...."Inside Stuff"
profiled "Hoop Dreams," a documentary on two Chicago teens and
their basketball hopes ("NBA Inside Stuff," 10/15). An ad for
"Hoop Dreams" notes that Nike and Sports Illustrated are offering
group ticket rates through an 800-number.