Monday Night Football Earns Cable’s Biggest Audience Ever

T
he
Dallas Cowboys’ 41-37 home victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on ESPN’s
Monday Night Football delivered the
biggest audience in the history of cable
television. The game earned a 13.3 rating, representing 12,953,000 TV homes
(18,608,000 P2+), edging the previous record, ESPN’s New England–Baltimore
Monday
Night Football telecast of Dec. 3, 2007 (12,529,000 homes, based on a
13.0 rating, 17,522,000 P2+).
Last
night’s telecast is the
most-watched
primetime NFL game of the 2008 season to date. It also is
ESPN’s third-highest rating of all time,
trailing only two other NFL games:
Chicago
at
Minnesota on Dec. 6, 1987 (14.4 rating,
8,400,000 homes), and
Detroit at
Miami on Christmas Day 1994
(14.2 rating, 8,927,000).
Cable’s
third-biggest audience ever is also an ESPN
Monday Night Football
telecast from Dallas: the New York Giants at the Cowboys on Oct. 23, 2006,
with an average of 11,807,000 homes (12.8 rating, 16.028 P2+).
For 2008, the three
Monday Night Football
telecasts represent cable’s three biggest audiences of the year
. The other two came in last
week’s special 2008 season-opening doubleheader of
Monday Night Football:
-Minnesota
at
Green Bay
earned a 9.3 rating, representing an average of 9,051,000 households
(12,501,000 viewers – P2+)
-Denver
at
Oakland
received a 7.3 rating with an average of 7,153,000 households watching
(9,665,000 viewers).
Those two
games powered ESPN to an increase in ratings vs. the first NFL weekend of 2007,
the only NFL partner network to post a ratings increase with its opening-week
games.
The
telecast’s statistics
represent
increases of 46% in rating, 48% in household impressions, and 60% among P2+ vs. the same week last year (Philadelphia–Washington: 9.1, 8,735,000, and 11,633,000, respectively).
For the NFL season to date
, ESPN’s
Monday Night Football
is averaging a 10.1 rating and 9,846,000 households (13,786,000 P2+),
up 23%, 25%, and 32%, respectively, from
last season through three games.
ESPN’s
presentation of the “game around the game,” which included NFL studio
programming starting at 3:30 p.m. through the conclusion of
NFL
Primetime at 2:30 a.m. ET, delivered 25.6 gross household coverage ratings
for its
MNF coverage.