WHAT A WONDERFUL WEEK FOR CBS; TUESDAY RATINGS SLIP, THOUGH
CBS received a 13.5 rating for Tuesday's primetime
Olympic coverage, bringing the 12-night average to 16.2 --
down 37% from Lillehammer in '94 and 14% from Albertville in
'92, according to Richard Sandomir of the N.Y. TIMES. The
U.S. Women's gold medal game against Canada drew a 3.4
rating on Tuesday morning from 7:00-9:00am ET, a "shade
higher" than the "CBS This Morning" average of 3.1 for its
weekday Olympic programming (N.Y. TIMES, 2/19). Wednesday
morning's live coverage of the U.S.-Czech Republic men's
hockey game from 12:45am-3:00am drew a 2.4/15 (Mult., 2/19).
OUT-FOXED: USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke writes that
Tuesday's numbers could indicate that "even the Olympics'
traditional viewers, women, have lost interest" in the
Games. He adds that CBS "now would have to be pleased" if
last night's ladies figure skating short program reaches a
20-21 rating, and predicts that the final rating for the
Games will "be about" a 16.5, which would be the second-
lowest Winter Olympics in history to the '68 Grenoble Games
(USA TODAY, 2/19). DAILY VARIETY's Tom Bierbaum writes that
Tuesday was "[p]erhaps the roughest night to date" for CBS,
as Fox's "Scariest Police Chases" and "Moment of Impact!"
beat primetime Olympic coverage in the adult 18-49 demo,
marking the first 18-49 loss for a night of Olympics
coverage, summer or winter, since the '92 Albertville Games.
The Games "have won every prime-time half hour to date in
households," and before Tuesday, CBS had lost only five
half-hours in the 18-49 category (DAILY VARIETY, 2/19).
GIVE BACKS: CBS "is acknowledging what the rest of
America has been saying from the start: The Winter Olympics
are a dud," according to Kyle Pope of the WALL STREET
JOURNAL. "Die-hard fans are tuning out," and the low ratings
are "raising even bigger questions about the value of
marquee sports programming." CBS may have to offer free ad
time elsewhere in its schedule if it cannot "provide enough
time to make up for the lousy ratings" during the Games
(WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/19). Some advertisers said that if
CBS doesn't meet its rating guarantee of a 19.6, "they'll
just factor the Olympic shortfall into future negotiations"
(HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 2/19). AD AGE reported that CBS "could
owe" its Olympic advertisers 400 30-second spots as make-
goods, and that "only about half their shortfall" will be
made up during the Olympics itself (AD AGE, 2/18).
BRIGHT SPOT: CBS had the top eight primetime programs
for the week ending February 15, including all seven
primetime Olympic broadcasts, giving the net its first
weekly win in adults 18-49 in four years. CBS's earned a
16.7/27 for the week, followed by NBC's 8.2/13 rating, ABC's
7.4/12 and Fox's 7.2/11 (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 2/19).