CBS, Turner Sports Averaging Best NCAA Tournament Rating Since '05
CBS and Turner Sports are averaging a 6.2 fast-national Nielsen rating through the Regional Finals of the NCAA Tournament, marking the best rating at this point in the event since '05 (6.3 rating). The 6.2 rating also is up 9% from the same period last year. Sunday’s doubleheader on CBS finished with a 7.4 rating, up 25% from last year (CBS/Turner). VARIETY's Rick Kissell noted CBS "emerged the winner among the broadcast networks on Sunday, riding a college basketball overrun and '60 Minutes' to victory in key demos on a night that figured to produce some strong ratings for shows on cablers." A 41-minute overrun from the Louisville-Duke game and the beginning portion of “60 Minutes” averaged "a dominant 4.2 rating/13 share in adults 18-49 and 15.7 million viewers overall on the net’s stations" from 7:00-8:00pm ET (VARIETY.com, 4/1).
WELL PLAYED: NPR's Linda Holmes wrote of the decision by many media outlets not to replay footage of Louisville G Kevin Ware's injury, "I found myself ultimately satisfied with the way things turned out, in that a viewer had to seek it out in order to see it." Sports coverage "usually works the opposite way: It's the broadcast equivalent of a push technology." Holmes: "I'm more convinced by the 'it is news' argument than by the 'people want to watch it' argument, since the latter really would seem to allow a slippery slope." It "is news, this accident." It happened "in a game that was already a national story, as opposed to some high school game." Furthermore, it "raises -- or, really, re-raises -- critical questions about how the NCAA works and the financial position in which injured players are left, usually in situations not nearly this high in profile" (NPR.org, 4/1).
TIME FOR SOME NEW MATERIAL: In Baltimore, Kevin Cowherd wrote the AT&T commercials with the kids gathered around the classroom table answering questions "were cute the first time around." Maybe the "first 10 times around." But around the "10,000th time around, they got really, really annoying." And since it is "apparently a law that no NCAA tournament game can be broadcast without 15 or 20 of these spots, the annoyance level has now reached epic, gouge-out-your-eyeballs, please-make-it-stop extremes." There are a "couple of new spots that feature" Basketball HOFers Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Russell. They are both "OK spots -- whimsical, semi-clever, not hysterically funny." But if AT&T continues to "air them ad nauseum, as they do with all their other 'kids' commercials, we'll grow to hate these spots, too" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 4/1).