Field Goals Fuel ESPN Triumph


Dueling last-minute field goals evidently kept viewers glued to their screens
Sunday night, as ESPN -- led by its Oct. 13 coverage of the Miami
Dolphins-Denver Broncos National Football League game -- scored a basic-cable
primetime victory in households and adult demos last week.

The total-sports network scored a 7.6 household rating that night from 8:28
p.m. to 12:01 a.m., making Dolphins-Broncos the top-rated show of the week.

Overall, ESPN was No. 1 for the week, averaging a 1.9 household rating from
Oct. 7 through 13, according to a Turner Entertainment Research analysis of
Nielsen Media Research data.

Nickelodeon was second with a 1.8, followed by Lifetime Television with a 1.7
and Turner Network Television and USA Network, both at a 1.6

Rounding out the top 10: Cartoon Network with a 1.5; Fox News Channel at a
1.4; TBS Superstation at a 1.3; The Learning Channel at a 1.2; and Cable News
Network, Discovery Channel and Sci Fi Channel, all with a 0.9.

ESPN was also tops among adults 18 through 34, 18 through 49 and 25 through
54, averaging 680,000, 1.28 million and 1.27 million of those viewers,

The NFL game -- which saw Miami kicker Olindo Mare's 53-yard field goal with
six seconds remaining trump Bronco booter Jason Elam's 55-yarder less than a
minute earlier -- was also the most-watched program in basic cable among those
demo groups.

MTV: Music Television (470,000) edged USA (453,000), TBS (439,000) and TLC
(412,000) among the more youthful adult set, while USA claimed second among the
two older adult crews with 1.03 million and 1.02 million of those watchers,

TLC, buoyed by its powerhouse Trading Spaces franchise on Saturday
nights, was third among adults 18 through 49 (876,000) and 25 through 54
(912,000). TBS (864,000) and TNT (790,000) finished fourth and fifth with the
former, while Lifetime (890,000) and TNT (839,000) held those positions with the
latter crowd.

Gauged on a total-day basis, Nickelodeon dominated households with a 1.5,
well ahead of Lifetime and Cartoon, each with a 1.1 average over the 24-hour