In the latest demonstration that sports on broadcast TV ain't what they used to be, the weekly Nielsen ratings indicated that the final game of the NCAA Basketball Championship Tournament ranked sixth for the week, drawing the fewest viewers in at least 30 years. The CBS telecast was outranked nationally by a two-hour version of NBC's Deal or No Deal, moving ahead of the game show only in the final15 minutes. (Non basketball fans typically say that the game only gets interesting for them in the final 15 minutes.) Nevertheless, CBS easily won the week with an overall average 8.1 rating and a 13 share. (Fox came out ahead among adults 18-49.) Fox and NBC tied for second place with a 6.1/10, while ABC trailed with a 5.2/9.
The top ten shows of the week according to Nielsen Research:
1. American Idol (Tuesday), Fox, 16.6/26; 2. American Idol (Wednesday), Fox, 15.7/23; 3. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS, 14.7/23; 4. House, Fox, 13.5/21; 5. NCAA Basketball Tournament Championships, CBS, 11.2/18; 6. Deal or No Deal (Monday), NBC, 10.7/16; 7. Without a Trace, CBS, 10.4/17; 8. NCIS, CBS, 10.0/16; 9. Law and Order: SVU, NBC, 9.9/16; 9. The Unit, CBS, 9.9/15.