Monday Night Football: Most-Watched Series on Cable

ESPN’s third season of Monday Night Football
was the most-watched series on cable television in 2008, set an all-time cable
viewership record for the third straight year and drew the year’s three biggest
cable household audiences and 13 of the top 15. In three seasons on ESPN, Monday
Night Football has registered seven of the top 10 all-time biggest
household audiences in cable history, led by the Eagles-Cowboys telecast on
September 15, which attracted cable’s largest household audience ever (an
average of 12,953,000 million homes).

ESPN’s 17 Monday Night Football telecasts in
2008 averaged an 8.9 rating, representing an average of 8,679,000 households
(11,962,000 viewers – P2+), increases
of 3%, 5% and 7%, respectively, vs. 2007 (8.6; 8,277,000 and
11,230,000). MNF ended on a particularly strong note with Monday’s
Chicago Bears’ 20-17 overtime victory over the Green Bay Packers delivering a
9.8 rating, representing an average of 9,582,000 households (13,803,000 viewers
– P2+). The game ranks as the third-largest household audience on cable
this year.

For the season, the accompanying “Monday Night
Surround” content on ESPN.com sparked an increase of Monday (through Tuesday at
noon ET) traffic to the site of 51% with an average 68.1 million page views per
week.

“ESPN’s Monday Night Football was a
resounding success this season with ratings and viewership increases from a
year ago and an overwhelmingly positive response from fans to our new approach
highlighting technology and X’s and O’s analysis,” says John Wildhack, ESPN
executive vice president, program acquisitions & strategy. “By offering
quality football contentacross many platforms, we areproud to
continue thetradition of this great franchise which is so revered by
fans, players and coaches, and we are already looking forward to MNF’s
40th season in 2009.”

NFL content on ESPN.com, including “Monday Night
Surround,” accessed via computers and mobile devices generated an average 68.1
million page views and 9.5 million visits from Monday through Tuesday at noon,
up 51% and 19%, respectively, over 2007, according to Web measurement tool
Omniture/Hitbox.Specifically, NFL content on mobile averaged 11.1 million
page views and 1.5 million visits for Monday through Tuesday at noon for the
season. In addition, pro football-related video on ESPN.com averaged more than
2.5 million views per week and SportsCenter Right Now averaged 1.5
million views. ESPN football-related podcasts were downloaded an average of
more than 641,000 per week since the season kicked off.