'MNF' Paydirt: ESPN Scores 16.8 Million Viewers With Bears-Eagles


Two big market teams in a tightly contested Monday Night Football matchup helped ESPN record cable's fifth-largest audience of the year.

ESPN's Nov. 7 telecast -- a 30-24 Chicago Bears' road victory over the Philadelphia Eagles -- notched a 12.3 cable rating (10.7 nationally), 12.2 million households and over 16.8 million viewers, according to Nielsen data. The telecast ranks as cable's fifth-largest of 2011, fourth on a household basis, according to ESPN officials.

It helped the worldwide leader increase its MNF average for the first 10 games of the 2011 campaign to a 9.8 rating (8.4 nationally), 9.65 million households and 13.2 million watchers.

With Bears-Eagles, ESPN won the night among all networks in all key male and adult demos, and finished second in both households and viewers MNF also led all programs on Nov. 7 in the delivery of all key male and adult demos, while placing second among households and viewers.