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sizzling & fizzling
?The women's Olympic figure skating final provided scintillating drama—particularly Sarah Hughes's leap from fourth to first—and NBC helped the competition build by canning commercials for 31 minutes.
?Analyst Joe Micheletti should be praised for his unsparing—and on the money—critique of referee Stacey Livingston, who called a slew of questionable penalties (including eight straight against Team Canada) during the women's gold medal hockey match.
?In an era of ever-declining ratings for most televised sporting events, NBC's 17-day average ratings of 19.2 for the Salt Lake City Games was 18% higher than CBS's average of 16.3 for the Nagano Olympics four years ago.
?Though figure skating judging is arcane, NBC did its viewers a disservice by failing to explain how Sarah Hughes could go from second place behind Michelle Kwan before Irina Slutskaya skated to the gold medal after Slutskaya finished.
?For the third time in the event's four years, ABC was burned by a glamourless final pairing (Scott McCarron versus Kevin Sutherland) in the Accenture World Match Play Championship, contributing to a low 1.8 overnight rating.
?Like Charles Barkley, the rest of the country must be sick of watching the Knicks, who are not only bad but also boring. Yet the rematch of Sunday's 107-91 Lakers victory over New York on NBC will be carried by the Peacock, on March 10.