SELECTION SHOW: CBS's NCAA men's tournament selection
show on Sunday earned a 6.5 overnight rating, up 14% over
last year's 5.7. USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke attributes the
ratings increase to the format change in which CBS "spaced
out the announcement of each bracket," and host Greg Gumbel
led a discussion of each "before moving on." The fourth
bracket "wasn't disclosed until 17 minutes into the show"
(USA TODAY, 3/10). In Denver, Todd Phiphers writes that
CBS's new format "amounted to playing games with ESPN,"
which ran a concurrent selection show but was "restricted
from showing" brackets until they had been shown on CBS,
which holds the announcement rights (DENVER POST, 3/10).
But on Long Island, Steve Zipay writes that CBS "could take
some pointers from ESPN" regarding the telecast, and points
out that CBS did not display teams' won-lost records, and
did not run a "crawl" across the bottom of the screen for
viewers tuning in late: "ESPN did both" (NEWSDAY, 3/10).
OTHER NOTES: In N.Y., Richard Sandomir praises Jim
Gray's interview of Don King on Showtime's PPV broadcast on
Saturday. Grey was "relentless" in asking King about the
lawsuit Mike Tyson filed against him last week. Sandomir:
"Compare his tough style with the ingratiating questioning
of Latrell Sprewell by Lesley Stahl on '60 Minutes'" (N.Y.
TIMES, 3/10)....Fox Sports Net will air the '98 John R.
Wooden Award, which honors the Men's college basketball
player of the year, live from the L.A. Athletic Club on
April 3 at 7:00pm ET (L.A. Athletic Club).