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I recently read that CBS (following the lead of ABC which broadcast most
Olympic competitions in the 1960s and 1970s) deliberately dwells on the
personal lives of the athletes (in other words, turns them into characters
in a melodrama) in order to attract women viewers.  The ratings show that
the technique succeeds.  The Olympics are the only televised sporting
event with a mostly female audience (57% female, moving up to 59% when
figure skating is broadcast).  Personally, I wonder if the draw of the
Olympics for women is, indeed, the soap opera aspect or is it the presence
of female athletes with whom women can identify?
 
Mary Kalfatovic, Washington, D.C.