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Top Sports Shows, March 31 - April 6, March Madness

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April 14th, 2008

Men's NCAA Basketball Semi-Finals are #1 and #2

NCAA on CBS - Road to the Final FourThe Men's NCAA Basketball semi-final games between Kansas & UNC and UCLA & Memphis lead all other sports shows by a wide margin for the week of March 31 - April 6, 2008.

The Kansas/UNC game, which was the second of the two semi-finals, had an average viewership of 14.4 million, and a HH rating of 8.8, along with the UCLA/Memphis game which had an average viewership of 11.8 million and a HH rating of 7.2 helped CBS to an easy win on Saturday night April 5.

Top Sports Shows for the Week of March 31 - April 6, 2008:

RANK

PROGRAMS

Network

Persons Live+SD (000)

HH Rating Live+SD

1

NCAA Basketball CHAMP [Kansas v. UNC] 4/5

CBS

14,435

8.8

2

NCAA Basketball CHAMP [UCLA v. Memphis] 4/5

CBS

11,770

7.2

3

NCAA Basketball-BRIDGE-4/5

CBS

11,265

6.8

4

FOX NASCAR SPRINT CUP (TEXAS)

FOX

8,612

5.4

5

NCAA Basketball POST-4/5

CBS

8,295

5.5

6

FOX NASCAR SPRINT PRE

FOX

4,827

3.1

7

Friday Night Smackdown

CW

4,722

2.7

8

NCAA WOMENS BASKETBALL-LSU/TENNESSEE

ESPN

3,603

2.4

9

FOX SATURDAY BASEBALL

FOX

3,233

2.2

10

NBA ON ABC-SUN 2

ABC

3,110

2.2

11

HOUSTON OPEN GOLF-SUN-4/6

NBC

2,136

1.5

12

SANTA ANITA DERBY-4/5

NBC

2,037

1.5

13

NBA-GOLDEN STATE AT NEW ORLEANS

ABC

2,018

1.4

14

FINAL FOUR SHOW-4/5

CBS

1,910

1.3

15

HOUSTON OPEN GOLF-SAT-4/5

NBC

1,456

1.1

16

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: TEN GREAT DUNKERS

CBS

1,255

0.9

17

SONY OPEN TENNIS: WOMENS FINAL

CBS

1,250

0.9

18

SONY OPEN TENNIS: MENS FINAL

CBS

1,238

0.8

19

NABISCO CHAMP-LPGA GOLF-04/06/2008

CBS

1,160

0.8

20

GMC NBA COUNTDOWN-SUN

ABC

1,075

0.8

Even with the massive promotion and visibility given NCAA March Madness, the second and third biggest college basketball games of the year didn't beat Fox's NASCAR Sprint Cup telecast (Texas) which crossed the finish line with 8. 6 million viewers by an overwhelming margin. I still think NASCAR is under-reported vs. its television popularity, but ESPN is doing what it can to change that. Could that be because they've picked up the telecast of NASCAR races?

Another "sport" that gets included in our Nielsen ratings is the faux wrestling of Friday Night Smackdown, which still outdrew everything but the NCAA semi-finals and NASCAR and their attendant pre- and post- shows with 4.7 million viewers.

Golf without Tiger Woods? Nobody (relatively) watches as the weekend telecasts of the Houston Open grabbed just 2.1 million on Sunday and 1.5 million on Saturday. And it's not just the timeslot. Lots more people watch Spongebob during the same weekend time periods.

Without any American stars though, tennis can only aspire to golf's paltry ratings, as the Sony Open could barely draw 1.2 million for its Men's and Women's final telecasts. Where have you gone Crissy Everett, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Andre Agassi, and Pete Sampras?

Unfortunately, we only get non-primetime sports data sporadically from Nielsen Media. Each time it appears, we hope it's the start of a regular trend, but we don't have our hopes up.

Our Sports Ratings combine both Broadcast and Cable sports.

Nielsen Ratings Data: ©2007 Nielsen Media Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 
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