SANTA CLAUS IS NO BIG DEAL ON NBC

Television viewers Monday night were more interested in seeing what was inside all those cases on Deal or No Deal than in watching another tale about Santa Claus. The game show drew a solid 10.0 rating and a 15 share in the ratings at 8:00 p.m. But audiences deserted the network at 9:00 p.m., when it aired an original holiday special, The Year Without a Santa Claus, which averaged a 4.7/7 between 9:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. With NBC's Heroes out of the Monday line-up, CBS averaged the highest ratings of the night, with CSI: Miami registering an 11.0/17 at 10:00 p.m.

CBS BLOG TOUTS IRAQ VLOG

The CBS blog PublicEye.com described as "good, fascinating stuff" the video blog AliveinBaghdad.com that presents ordinary Iraqis speaking about their daily lives. Founded by American Brian Conley, the site offers videos about car bomb survivors; the children's ward of a Baghdad hospital; a police officer talking about his work; and the effects of the city's electricity shortage. One video is titled "A Mother Tells a Martyr's Story." In its endorsement of the blog, the CBS website commented, "The videos aren't particularly long, but they're longer than anything you're likely to see on the Evening News or the cable networks, long enough to provide a human dimension to a war usually discussed in broad, general terms. Particularly if you're someone that feels the mainstream media doesn't give the full story out of Iraq, you don't want to miss it."

PRICE WAR OVER BIG-SCREEN TV SETS COULD HURT MAKERS, SAYS SONY

The current price war between manufacturers and retailers of big-screen LCD and plasma TV monitors will likely see price drops of 25-30 percent this year, according to Sony Electronics President Stan Glasgow. CNET News quoted Glasgow as saying that the plunge in prices has narrowed the profit margins of all manufacturers and could leave them weakened and less able to invest in future technologies.

EBERSOL SUES COMPANY THAT ARRANGED FATAL FLIGHT

NBC Sports Chairman Dick Ebersol has sued Key Air Inc., the company that arranged the flight on which he and his two sons were injured when the plane crashed on take-off in icy conditions in Colorado in November 2004. One of his sons, 14-year-old Edward suffered fatal injuries. Ebersol and his other son Charles were burned and received spinal injuries. The suit alleged that the pilot, who was also killed in the crash, was not qualified to fly the plane.

NETHERLANDS SHUTS OFF ANALOG TV

The Netherlands on Monday became the first country to switch all of its television stations to digital. A spokesman for Royal KPN NV said that all analog transmitters were turned off between midnight and 2:00 a.m. The U.S. plans to end analog transmission in 2009.

Brian B.