NBC FINDS OLYMPIC SPOTS TO SELL

NBC had apparently withheld a number of advertising availabilities during the Olympics until they actually went on the air. The network said Thursday that it had sold an additional $10 million in ads during the past week. It indicated that the spots had gone to movie studios, packaged-goods marketers, and retailers. In a statement, NBC said that more than 100 companies have bought time during its Olympics coverage. Seth Winter, NBC Sports and Olympics' head of ad sales, remarked, "Americans are consuming our Olympic coverage in record numbers and in every way_through broadcast, cable, online and mobile. What's particularly encouraging to me is the strength in the young male demo, which has shown the largest increase of any age group."

OLYMPIC VIEWERSHIP ON WEB REMAINS SMALL, STUDY FINDS

Although much has been made of the impressive number of viewers who are watching Olympic events on the Internet, an analysis of the numbers by Fox TV and reported today (Friday) by TV Week observes that television accounts for 99.7 percent of Olympics total viewing time, while the Internet accounts for the remaining 0.3 percent. "Bottom line? Broadcast rules," Fox said. The network noted that its analysis was based primarily on figures provided online by the website TVBytheNumbers.com. The figures would appear to conflict with those provided by NBC, which said Tuesday that 92 percent of the audience is watching the Olympics on TV and 8 percent on the Internet. TV Week explained the discrepancy by noting that viewers watch the Internet streams for far shorter periods than they watch the television broadcasts.

DOGS CAN'T COMPETE WITH HUMAN ATHLETES

Without the draw of swimming sensation Michael Phelps or women's gymnastics, the number of viewers for NBC's coverage of the Summer Olympics dropped to 27.2 million Wednesday, down from 32 million on Tuesday. Nevertheless, the telecasts from Beijing dominated the night. Against them the dog contest on CBS's Greatest American Dog didn't stand a chance as it attracted just 5.2 million viewers. (Its July 10 debut drew 9.5 million.)

AMERICANS SUPPORT RETURN OF FAIRNESS DOCTRINE

Forty-seven percent of the U.S. population believes that the government should reimpose the Fairness Doctrine requiring radio and TV stations to balance political comments equally between conservatives and liberals. Thirty-nine percent says that broadcasting should remain unregulated on that score, according to a survey conducted by Rasmussen Reports. The Fairness Doctrine was terminated in 1987 by the Reagan administration. In a similar survey conducted in July 2007 Americans were found to be evenly divided on the issue. Democrats have been pressing for a return of the Fairness Doctrine, primarily because of the domination of talk radio by conservatives. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that the survey found that 54 percent of Democrats favor a return of the Fairness Doctrine while 26 percent do not; Republicans and independents are equally divided on the matter, the study found.

COURIC TO HOST WEBCAST FROM CONVENTIONS

Although the broadcast networks have drastically reduced their coverage of the Democratic and Republican national conventions to just one hour per night, CBS News said Thursday that it will expand its coverage for a half hour past 11:00 p.m. each night of the conventions with live webcasts on both CBS.com and CNET.com, where Katie Couric will continue to hold forth as the network's primary anchor. It will mark the first time that CBS News will produce live coverage of the conventions for the Internet only. The other networks are also reportedly

developing plans for additional convention coverage online and on cable.

Brian B.