Ratings Fly For ESPN’s ‘MNF’


ESPN’s Monday Night Football game, the 20-12 triumph by the Washington Redskins over the Philadelphia Eagles, was the total sports network’s highest-rated telecast of 2007.

The Sept. 17 matchup grabbed a 9.1 household cable rating, translating into 8.74 million homes and 11.6 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research data. The contest was the top show in all of television that night in primetime.

Although Eagles/Skins trailed only Disney Channel’s premiere of High School Musical 2 on Aug. 17, which attracted 17.2 million viewers and the series finale of Home Box Office’s acclaimed mob series The Sopranos, which drew 11.9 million watchers June 10, among cable shows in 2007, the game fell short of its counterpart from last season. The Sept. 18, 2006 MNF tilt in which the Jacksonville Jaguars topped the Pittsburgh Steelers, 9-0 tackled 13.3 million viewers.

Network officials reported that from the kickoff of its NFL studio programming at 4 p.m. on Sept. 17 through the conclusion of the game that night, ESPN delivered 17.5 gross household coverage ratings for its comprehensive MNF coverage.

The game also performed very well online. Accessed either by users via computers or mobile devices, NFL content on ESPN.com, including “Monday Night Surround,” generated more than 53 million page views from Sept. 17 through the following day at noon. That marked a 25% increase over the same period last year, according to Web measurement tool HitBox. 

Additionally, fans viewed football-related video on ESPN.com nearly 1.5 million times on Monday alone, according to network officials.