NBA draws record TV crowds

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The first weekend of NBA playoff coverage on NBC featured a record-breaking audience and the highest ratings in more than a decade. Bolstered by a 9.8 rating for the April 30 game featuring the Chicago Bulls at the Charlotte Hornets--the most-watched first-round game ever--NBC averaged a 6.4 rating for the five games it telecast last weekend. That rating is up 10% from the first five games last season. The Chicago vs. Charlotte game was seen by an audience of 32 million.

Culligan International Co., Northbrook, Ill., will bring back the Culligan Lady and her "Hey, Culligan Man!" cry as part of the company's $8 million ad effort this year. It's the first major use of the character for the water treatment company in more than a decade. TV, radio and outdoor are on the schedule, via Grant/Jacoby, Chicago.

SunAmerica Inc., a Los Angeles-based financial services marketer, Sunday begins an $8.5 million, six-month TV and print campaign with an aggressive message to people ages 45 to 64 to set aside savings for retirement. The first campaign from Asher/Gould, Los Angeles, uses the line "Look to the Sun" and will appear on major sports network broadcasts, news shows and in magazines.

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