There was no bear market among Monday Night Football viewers.
ESPN's coverage of the Chicago Bears' 20-17 win over the Green Bay Packers was cable's top telecast of 2010 and the fifth-biggest in the history of the medium.
The Sept. 27 telecast averaged a 12.5 rating (10.8 nationally), 12.5 million households and nearly 17.45 million viewers, according to Nielsen data. The contest surpassed the 17 million that watched the Minnesota Vikings-Bears game, which drew a 12.0 rating, 11.9 million households and just over 17 million watchers on Dec. 28, 2009, part of Nielsen's 2010 year.
MNF led all programs -- broadcast or cable -- in all key male and adult demos and helped ESPN win the night among all networks in those same categories.
MNF games rank as the five biggest audiences among households and the four biggest among total viewers for cable television in 2010.
Through the first three weeks and four games of the 2010 NFL campaign, ESPN's MNFmatchups averaged a 10.9 household rating, 10.8 million households and 14.98 million viewers, gains of 5%, 6% and 7% percent, respectively, over the corresponding span last season.