MOUTH OF MADNESS: CBS TOURNEY COVERAGE RECEIVES HIGH PRAISE
CBS Sports' presentation of the opening day of the NCAA
men's basketball tournament "was smooth and seamless,"
according to Howard Manly of the BOSTON GLOBE, writing under
the header "CBS Manages To Push The Right Buttons" (BOSTON
GLOBE, 3/12). In Baltimore, Milton Kent writes that CBS
"seemed to get off to a good start editorially yesterday,"
as it "is to be commended for its coverage" of the MN test-
taking scandal (SUN, 3/12). In S.D., Jay Posner writes
under the headline, "Tournament Blowouts Aren't TV Bore,
Thanks To Switch-Savvy CBS." CBS Sports VP/Programming Mike
Aresco: "We're not infallible. But it's good to hear we
make a good decision once in a while" (UNION-TRIBUNE, 3/12).
COME SALE AWAY: CBS MARKETWATCH's David Wilkerson
writes that ad sales for the tournament "are up from last
year by double-digit percentages." Exact dollar figures
"weren't disclosed" (CBS MARKETWATCH, 3/12). In Toronto,
Chris Zelkovich writes that young men are "driving" the
Canadian TV market for college basketball, as networks are
"bending over backward to please them, mainly because
advertisers like them so much." That is "one reason" CTV
SportsNet will carry 50 hours of the men's tourney. TSN
VP/Programming Phil King, whose net was "tempted" to carry
the games: "U.S. college basketball has no audience here.
But it's very saleable" (TORONTO STAR, 3/12).
ROLLING THE DICE: In a USA TODAY Cover Story, Tom Lowry
reports that March "money madness is moving on line" as
"millions of people are betting on the NCAA men's and
women's basketball tournaments on the Internet." Around
$70M could be bet on the NCAA tournament in Las Vegas this
year, which is $10M less than '98, as the gambling business
is "being pinched" by the new competition (USA TODAY, 3/12).
ESPN MAGAZINE reports that an "estimated" $2.5B will be
wagered on the men's tournament across the U.S. through un-
licensed bookies, on-line services and company pools (ESPN
MAGAZINE, 3/22)....WALL STREET SPORTS reported 101,000
entries into its men's basketball pool, while ESPN.com had
402,109 users register for its pool, with 70.1% of the fans
picking Duke to win the tournament (THE DAILY).
PRESS CREDENTIALS: St. Paul Pioneer Press Editor Walker
Lundy tells Ed Sherman of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE that he feels
"it would have been irresponsible to hold the story" on MN
basketball players involved in an academic scandal. Lundy:
"People are complaining about when we ran the story, but
nobody is complaining that we got the facts wrong, and
that's what matters to me" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/12).