ESPN's coverage of the Miami Dolphins' 31-27 win over the New York Jets on Monday Night Football was down 8.7 million viewers from the week before.Other programmers should have such problem.
The Oct 12 contest still drew a 9.7 rating, 9.66 million viewers and 13.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen data, making it ESPN's and cable's fifth-most-watched program in 2009. Dolphins-Jets, which was decided in the last few seconds, followed the Green Bay-Minnesota MNF match-up on Oct. 5, the most-watched telecast in cable history with 21.8 million viewers on average.
The Oct. 12 MNF game led all programs --broadcast or cable -- in all key male demos, persons18 to 34 and 18 to 49, and helped ESPN win the TV night in all key male and adult demos, said ESPN officials.
Through the first five weeks and six games, ESPN's MNF averaged an 11.1 rating, 11 million households and almost 15.3 million viewers, gains of 19%, 21% and 21%, respectively, from the comparable span of the 2008 National Football League season.
On the night the NFL celebrated "Hispanic Heritage Month," ESPN Deportes' Spanish-language coverage of MNF delivered its highest rating and most-watched NFL game ever. The Jets-Dolphins delivered a 1.4 Hispanic rating and 68,000 Hispanic households, equaling the rating and edging the 65,000 Hispanic households from the season-opening Chargers-Raiders telecast on Sept. 14.
For the season to date, MNF games on ESPN Deportes averaged a 1.1 Hispanic rating, up 136% from last year, according to network officials.