Pats-Saints come up big for ESPN
|12.02.09 at 9:21 pm ET|
The Patriots may have come up three touchdowns short on Monday night in New Orleans but they were huge ratings winners across the country.
According to ESPN, this week’s Monday Night Football game on the network earned a 15.0 rating, representing an average of 14,872,000 households (21,402,000 viewers – P2+), making it the second most-watched cable telecast of all time among both households and viewers, as well as ESPN’s second-highest rating in the network’s 30-year history.
The MNF game also ranks as the top prime time program of the past two weeks (since 11/16/09) among all broadcast and cable networks in households, viewers, and all key male and adult demos.
Ironically, the Patriots came up with big numbers the week before they were taken off the Sunday night game by NBC in favor of the 10-1 Minnesota Vikings, who are taking on the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, Ariz.
The Patriots-Saints game finished just shy of ESPN’s Monday Night Football telecast October 5 (Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings), which set the all-time cable records for households (15,136,000) and viewers (21,839,000), based on an ESPN-record 15.3 rating.
ESPN has set the cable household viewership record four times in as many years since acquiring the rights to MNF. In all, cable’s seven biggest household audiences ever — and eight of the top 10 – (excluding breaking news) are ESPN MNF games.
Monday’s game delivered a combined 35.0 rating in Boston (13.1 on ESPN and 21.9 on WCVB-ABC), as well as a combined 66.7 rating in New Orleans (23.3 on ESPN and 43.4 on WDSU-NBC). The New Orleans rating is the highest combined local rating for ESPN’s Monday Night Football this year, surpassing the 63.9 in New Orleans for the Falcons-Saints game (Nov. 2).
For 2009, ESPN’s MNF telecasts represent cable’s 12 biggest audiences among households and viewers (and 13 of the top 14 among households). Through 12 weeks (13 games) of the NFL season, ESPN’s MNF is averaging a 10.6 rating and 10,447,000 households (14,560,000 P2+), up 18 percent, 18 percent and 19 percent, respectively, from last season.
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