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Volume 24 No. 113
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          Despite inclement weather forcing the conclusion of The
     Players Championship (TPC) to be postponed until this
     morning, NBC's coverage of yesterday's fourth round, which
     featured Tiger Woods in contention for the title, earned a
     5.6/12 preliminary overnight Nielsen rating, up 4% from last
     year's fourth-round rating of a 5.4/12 (THE DAILY). In
     Boston, Jim McCabe writes that NBC affils "were given the
     option of carrying" today's coverage, which ran from 9:00am-
     10:35am ET on NBC (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/27).  In Jacksonville,
     Mike Bianchi questioned Sunday's start time: "It's ludicrous
     to have a starting time of 2 p.m. for a golf tournament in
     Florida in March" (FL TIMES-UNION, 3/27). In Toronto, Ken
     Fidlin writes under the header, "Arrogant NBC Honchos Blow
     Responsibility": "NBC had jammed its coverage of one of the
     most important tournaments on the golf calendar into a 3
     1/2-hour window between NBA telecasts.  A reasonable tee
     time for the [Hal] Sutton-Woods pairing would have been
     somewhere between 12:30 and 1 p.m." (TORONTO SUN, 3/27).   
          GOLF A TOUGH COUNTER TO NCAA: NBC's Saturday coverage
     of the TPC earned a 4.7/12 overnight, up 31% from last
     year's 3.6/9. Saturday's Univ. of WI-Purdue Univ. NCAA Men's
     basketball tournament game earned a 5.8/13 overnight, down
     22% from last year's Gonzaga Univ.-Univ. of CT game, which
     earned a 7.4/19.  CBS' coverage of the MI State Univ.-IA
     State Univ. game earned an 8.0/15, down 4% from last year's
     OH State-St. John's game, which earned an 8.3/17. Sunday's
     UNC-Tulsa Univ. game earned a 5.1/12 overnight, down 27%
     from last year's Temple-Duke game, which earned a 7.0/16,
     while yesterday's Univ. of FL-OK State Univ. game earned a
     7.2/15, down 17% from last year's Univ. of KY-MI State game,
     which earned an 8.7/17 (THE DAILY).  For more, (#27).       
          GOLF LEVERAGE? In Boston, Jim McCabe noted that talks
     on a new PGA Tour TV deal "probably will start this summer." 
     One proposal has the TPC being moved to May, "which could
     take it away from NBC because of a conflict with the NBA
     playoffs."  Some Tour execs "like the idea of having a
     marquee event each month."  The Tour noted that network
     ratings for weekend golf action are up 11% from '99, while
     ESPN's weekend ratings are up 26% (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/26).     
          LOOKING AHEAD: CBS Exec Producer Terry Ewert said that
     Saturday's NCAA Final Four pre-game show "will feature
     several issues pieces anchored by reporter Armen Keteyian. 
     Topics will include the recent series of NCAA player
     suspensions, ... and the troublesome issue of shoe company-
     sponsored summer camps" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 3/27).