NIELSEN NUMBERS INDICATE CBS HITTING TARGET DEMO WITH HOOPS
Although CBS' ratings of the NCAA Men's Basketball
Tournament first and second rounds are up over the
tournament's last few years, it "has interrupted momentum
built by CBS Entertainment," according to USA TODAY's Rudy
Martzke. CBS had won the previous two weeks in primetime
ratings, but was second last week when ratings dropped 6%.
During the first three nights of the tournament -- Thursday,
Friday and Saturday -- CBS' ratings were down 12% from the
previous week. CBS Sports President Sean McManus says he is
"concerned," adding, "We'll figure out a way for the
tournament to work financially so it won't be a financial
albatross in the future." But Grey Advertising's Jon Mandel
says the tournament "is more than a couple of games in
primetime. You're bringing an audience to the set you might
not have" (USA TODAY, 3/19).
MACHO MEN: Numbers from Nielsen Media showed CBS' NCAA
coverage "more than doubled" the net's regularly scheduled
Thursday average among men 25-54 and men 18-49. CBS won
Friday night among men 25-54, and was No. 2 among men 18-49.
On Saturday, CBS won the night among homes and total
viewers. It "also took the night in adults 25-54 and all
key male demos" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 3/19).
PPV PLUG: In Orlando, Alan Schmadtke: "If you looked
closely at the first- and second-round NCAA Tournament
games, you noticed plenty of fans disguised as empty seats.
Sadly, welcome to the era of television. Suggestion for the
NCAA: pay-per-view. Unlike the one-time event like boxing,
nobody's going to get ripped off paying for the NCAA
Tournament, particularly when you are guaranteed of seeing
the game(s) you want" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 3/19).