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Pete McEntegart
September 30, 2002
Fox drops Tyson, Solid Solheim for NBC, Tiger ratings roar
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September 30, 2002

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Fox drops Tyson, Solid Solheim for NBC, Tiger ratings roar

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?Fox did the right thing last week by pulling a disturbing ad for The Best Damn Sports Show, Period that featured Mike Tyson as a babysitter. Still, its public mea culpa—a spokesman claimed the network had "no desire to create controversy around what is a potentially sensitive topic"—rings hollow. The spot showed Tyson, a convicted rapist who once expressed the desire to eat Lennox Lewis's (nonexistent) kids, holding an infant and singing a lullaby. Clearly, the network hoped the image of Tyson cuddling a newborn would kick up a stir: One of the ad's creators told The New York Times that the spot was designed to "break through the clutter, and when you can do that, if it's controversial, it's O.K." Or, actually, it's not.

?With its telecast of Sunday's stirring finale to the Solheim Cup, NBC has set the bar high for this week's Ryder Cup coverage. Johnny Miller was in top form, bashing what he considered an unfair pin placement on 17 ("The only thing this green is missing is windmills"). He also summed up Michele Redman's meltdown—she was 5 up with five holes to play but let Norway's Suzann Pettersen halve the match—with a succinct "What a collapse." His colleague Dan Hicks reacted deftly when Pettersen used the f word in a live interview. Hicks apologized to viewers and then added, "At first I thought it might be some Norwegian word, but I don't think it was."

? Tiger Woods may not care if the U.S. wins the Ryder Cup, but U.S. golf fans can't seem to get enough of the Striped One. Sunday's final round of the American Express Championship in Kilkenny, Ireland, drew a respectable 2.6 rating on ABC (the Solheim Cup got a 1.1) despite a five-hour tape delay.