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Olympic ratings take steep drop

MAKING NEWS

NBC's prime-time Olympics coverage had 20.2-million viewers per night, a 37 percent decline from 2002 in Salt Lake City. Among viewers 18-49, ratings were down 45 percent. NBC promised advertisers an average of 12-14 points and got 12.2, according to Nielsen Media Research. Each point represents 1.102-million homes. NBC said it had expected ratings to decline due to the time difference and rise in patriotism after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Salt Lake City averaged 31.9-million viewers, the 1998 Games in Nagano, Japan, 25.1-million.

OUT OF BOUNDS

SAMPRAS RETURNING: Pete Sampras signed up for World Team Tennis more than three years after his last match. Sampras' last pro match was the 2002 U.S. Open final, when he beat Andre Agassi for his record 14th Grand Slam title. He made one thing clear: Don't call it a comeback. "I miss playing the game," Sampras, 34, said. "But to play at the level I used to play is a whole other animal. There isn't any pressure. I can relax and have a little fun." The WTT is a 12-team league that recently has included Agassi, Steffi Graf, John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova. Sampras will be drafted March 28 and expects to play about six matches during the July 6-26 regular season.

QUESTION

OF THE DAY

What golfer won the last Bing Crosby National Pro-Am?

Answer below.

QUOTABLE

"I don't know what I'm walking into."

- JASON McELWAIN, autistic manager of the Greece Athena High basketball team who scored 20 points, including six 3-pointers, in his one appearance; the performance drew national attention, and his parents have received inquiries from 25 movie production companies

ANSWER

Mark O'Meara in 1985

FUTURE HOME RUN QUEEN? Barry Bonds takes a break at spring training, dressing up as American Idol's Paula Abdul for "Giants Idol." The event, featuring bad singing by teammates, raised money for charity. Said Bonds: "I'll never tell my wife to hurry up anymore because it took me forever to get ready."

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