Peyton Manning's Indianapolis Colts held the ball for less than 15 minutes in their win over the Miami Dolphins last night. And the Sept. 14 opener of Monday Night Football only kept the record for cable's top show in 2009 for just one week.
ESPN's Sept. 21 telecast of Indianapolis' 27-23 victory averaged an 11.0 rating, 10.8 million households and 14.7 million viewers, the most in cable thus far in 2009, according to Nielsen Media Research data. Those figures surpassed the 10.3 household rating, 10.2 million homes and just over 14 million watchers who tuned in the New England Patriots' 25-24 win over the Buffalo Bills in the opener of the 40th MNF season on Sept. 14.
The Sept. 21 MNF contest, which was settled on the last play when Chad Pennington's pass was intercepted in the end zone, led all programs, broadcast or cable, in all key male demos and helped ESPN win the TV night across all key male demos, according to ESPN officials
Through the first two weeks (three games), ESPN's MNF franchiseaveraged a 10.0 household rating, 9.92 million households and 13.5 million viewers. ESPN's three MNF games rank as the three largest live audiences in cable this year, including the 11.9 million who watched the Oakland Raiders-San Diego Chargers contest, in the nightcap of the season-opening doubleheader.
The latter topped the of Disney Channel telefilm Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie, which conjured 11.7 million watchers on a live + same day data, after 11.4 million in its premiere airing on Aug. 28. However, the original movie's audience climbed to 13.5 million, gauged on a live + seven-day basis..