Fox's Dec. 16 telecast of Mike Tyson's heavyweight bout against Buster Mathis scored a TKO on the TV competition and boosted Fox's weekly prime-time average considerably for week 13 of the 1995-96 prime-time season. Fox averaged a 9.1 Nielsen rating for the week ended Dec. 17, a 1.7-point gain from the same week a year ago. ABC and CBS both were down for the week and NBC posted a modest gain, but overall the Big 4 net's gross rating was down 3% to a 40.7 rating for the week.
Basic cable TV was the biggest gainer for the week, rising 14.9% to a 17.9 rating. Pay TV also continues to pace well ahead of last year, rising 17% in week 13 to a 3.4 rating. All other viewing sources were down, including viewing to independent TV stations, which fell 6.3% to a 7.6 rating.