Madness Infects Ratings
March Madness set in in spades over the weekend, as CBS's coverage of the NCAA hoops contests averaged 8.36 million viewers on Friday night, 9.48 million on Saturday night, and a whopping 16.19 million during a primetime rollover on Sunday. The Saturday figures were particularly impressive, given the commonly accepted industry opinion that viewers in general and younger viewers in particular flee their TV sets on Saturday night. In fact, the CBS telecast peaked in the 10 00 p.m. hour with 10.76 million viewers tuning in. With few exceptions, the networks on Saturday countered with repeats -- and none did well. Faring worst of the lot was NBC's Donald Trump series, Celebrity Apprentice , which wound up with just 2.82 million viewers. NBC, which also said it had high hopes for its new drama Kings to improve, saw the show's ratings decline even further in its second week to just 4.58 million viewers Meanwhile, CBS said that 2.7 million unique users tuned in to the first day of its online coverage of the NCAA basketball tournament, versus 1.75 million during the comparable day a year ago.