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RYDER CUP EARNS 6.3/15 SUNDAY RATING; MILLER IN THE EYE
Published September 27, 1999
NBC earned record overnight ratings for its coverage of the Ryder Cup. Saturday's coverage earned a 4.9/14 and Sunday's coverage earned a 6.3/15. Sunday's action was up 62% over the '97 final-day overnight of a 3.9/13 (THE DAILY). In Boston, Jim Baker reported that Saturday's 4.9/14 overnight included a 9.2 in West Palm Beach, FL, a 7.3 in Providence and 7.2 in Boston (BOSTON HERALD, 9/27). JOHNNY'S GARDEN: Many members of the U.S. Ryder Cup team criticized NBC golf analyst Johnny Miller for being too critical of their performance on Friday and Saturday. Near the end of yesterday's broadcast, Miller said, "I try to call them like I see them. I never lost faith that the United States could pull this thing and there's nobody that pulls harder for the U.S. than I do. But I got to call them the way I see them and sometimes the players don't always love my idea of announcing. So, I try to represent the people out there and represent the game and those are the people I try to answer to" (NBC, 9/26). USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke writes that "rarely has an announcer been the focus of such venom from players" (USA TODAY, 9/27). In Chicago, Skip Bayless gives Miller "credit ... for having the guts to say the Americans weren't showing any guts" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/27). In N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes that while Miller is "often brutally frank, he works only for the viewer, a rarity among golfcasters" (N.Y. POST, 9/27). In Richmond, Jerry Lindquist: "Miller is the best. He doesn't look the other way" (RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH, 9/27). In Toronto, Rob Longley writes that for three days, Miller "made up for the weak rah-rah commentary" from his partners. Longley added that NBC's weekend telecasts "succeeded in spite of itself. The natural drama and strong performance by Miller carried the show" (TORONTO SUN, 9/27). NBC COVERAGE: In Atlanta, Prentis Rogers writes that NBC "effectively captured every moment" of the event (ATL. CONSTITUTION, 9/27). In Houston, David Barron writes that NBC's six-plus hours of coverage "was a tape to put away in the vaults for future reference" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 9/27). Martzke gives NBC an A- only for missing post-match European player interviews Sunday (USA TODAY, 9/27). WHERE DID THEY FIND THOSE SHIRTS? In Orlando, Jerry Greene finds it "amazing" that the U.S. team had a $275,000 clothing budget "and bought those comical shirts out of the trunk of somebody's car" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 9/27). FSN's Keith Olbermann, on the U.S. team's shirts worn Sunday: "Oh, these are team shirts, as opposed to some kind of fashion Love Canal kind of disaster" (FSN, 9/26). ESPN's Rich Eisen: "What's up with the shirts?" (ESPN, "SportsCenter", 9/26). In Calgary, Eric Francis: "I can say the only thing more obnoxious than the [Americans'] behaviour yesterday was their wardrobe" (CALGARY SUN, 9/27). BOFFO WEEKEND: Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau officials feel the event may bring in more than the estimated $150M economic windfall from the six-day tournament. President Patrick Moscaritolo: "We may do better than the original estimate. I'm sure on merchandise sales we will." Some vendors reported selling 100% of their inventory, and PGA officials "had indicated sales were at record levels" (BOSTON HERALD, 9/27)....The BOSTON HERALD's Michael Lasalandra wrote that while some "complained about the traffic in and around The Country Club [in Brookline] and the complicated system of trains and shuttle busses needed to get to the course," some said the "transportation situation is smooth, compared to Valderrama" (BOSTON HERALD, 9/25). Some felt that with attendance exceeding 30,000, there "were simply too many people on a too small plot of land" (AP, 9/26). On Friday, nearly 60% of the 40,000 in attendance took MA public transportation to the event (AP, 9/25)....FSN's Keith Olbermann, on the U.S. team's celebration after Justin Leonard's match-winning putt: "Something amazing was won, but just as assuredly something amazing was lost when his teammates and their wives stormed the green. ... Congrats Ryder Cup, you're no longer a tradition. Now you're a marketing scheme" (FSN, 9/26).