Television: First Down

"It's beginning to look like a 50-to-0 football game," crowed an NBC vice president. This was a little like claiming victory after the first down, or in this case after the first nationwide Nielsens had rated the first two weeks of the new season. What had NBC cheering was that last season's three-way tie among the three networks was finally breaking up. Ahead with an 18.7 was NBC; in second was CBS with 17.9; trailing in third was ABC with 17.0. Since a Nielsen rating represents the percentages of sets tuned to that network, this meant that in an average...

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