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NCAA Ratings Best Since 1994

March 18, 2002

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NEW YORK (AP) _ The first four days of CBS’ coverage of the NCAA tournament drew the highest ratings since 1994.

The broadcasts on Thursday through Sunday averaged a 5.8 overnight rating, a 12 percent increase from last year’s 5.2. The overnight was CBS’ highest since a 5.9 over the same four-day period in 1994.

On Sunday, the overnight rating was 6.8, up 19 percent from last year’s 5.7.

Overnight ratings measure the 53 largest TV markets in the United States, covering about 65 percent of the country.

The last two NCAA tournaments finished with the lowest ratings in the 20 years that CBS has televised the event, with the 2 1/2-week average rating of 6.5 last year up slightly from 2000′s overall average of 6.4.

While NCAA ratings improved, so did weekend ratings for golf on NBC and auto racing on Fox.

NBC’s weekend coverage of Tiger Woods winning his third straight Bay Hill Invitational had a 4.9 overnight rating, up 11 percent from last year’s 4.4.

Fox’s coverage on Sunday of Sterling Marlin’s win at Darlington, S.C., had a 5.5 overnight rating, up 6 percent from the 5.2 rating a year ago.

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