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Delayed coverage not all bad

Fans don't like delayed coverage of sporting events, mostly because it eliminates the suspense.

But in the case of the Winter Olympics, delayed coverage, for now, is not all bad.

How many people really care how Americans Donna Weinbrecht and Liz McIntyre fare in freestyle skiing? The fun part is just watching and learning about sports that rate international attention once every four years.

We may know that Kurt Browning has beaten Christopher Bowman for the gold in figure skating, but we'll still watch it.

One advantage of delayed coverage, at least from CBS' view, is that it allows time to produce an organized show. It also enables the network to air commercials without fear of taking viewers away from key segments of the broadcast.

CBS will air fewer commercials than ABC did during the Calgary Games, 10{ minutes an hour instead of 12.

Best bet: The U.S. has shots at gold in the women's Alpine combined (7-9 a.m. CBS) and freestyle skiing (8-11 p.m. CBS). CBS also gets a boost from the start of men's figure skating on its nightly program.

_ JOHN HARRIS

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