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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

CBS Ratings for NCAA Basketball Final Drop From 2007

CBS Ratings for NCAA Basketball Final Drop From 2007

By Tim Mullaney

April 8 (Bloomberg) -- CBS Corp. said television ratings for the NCAA basketball championship game fell less than 1 percent, in a tournament hampered by the absence of big-market teams.

Last night's 75-68 win by the University of Kansas Jayhawks over the University of Memphis Tigers drew an average 12.1 percent of U.S. TV households, New York-based CBS said today in a statement, citing preliminary figures. Last year's final drew 12.2 percent.

Before last night, ratings for the 64-game tournament were down about 8 percent, said Mike Aresco, CBS Sports senior vice president for programming. He cited the University of Illinois and Ohio State University, which made the finals in 2005 and 2007 respectively, and failed to make the field this year. High- profile teams from Duke University, University of Kentucky and Indiana University got knocked out in the first weekend.

``We've had more blowouts than in previous years,'' Aresco said in an interview. ``It hasn't been the kind of tournament we've been used to.''

In one such game, the April 5 semifinal between Kansas and the University of North Carolina, CBS commentator Billy Packer declared the match over before halftime as Kansas raced ahead by as many as 28 points.

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