Jets-Vikings Game Tackles 17.3 Million Viewers


The return of Brett Favre and his late-game heroics against former team the New York Jets played big with the Nielsens for ESPN.
The sports programmer tackled the sixth-largest audience in cable history and second-biggest of 2010 with its Oct. 11 presentation of the Jets's 29-20 triumph over the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football.
The contest -- which was delayed 45 minutes by severe weather and didn't kick off until around 9:15 p.m. (ET) -- averaged a 10.7 U.S. rating, almost 12.5 million households and 17.3 million watchers on average, according to Nielsen data.
As it has each week this season, 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.
Buoyed by New York-Minnesota, ESPN's MNF throught the first five weeks and six games of its 2010 schedule averaged an 11.1 household rating, nearly 11.1 million households and 15.2 million viewers, even to date in all measurements versus 2009.
The contest trails only the 17.5 million viewers for the 2009 MNF season finale between the Vikings and Chicago Bears, which falls in Nielsen's 2010 year, in terms of audience delivery this year.