[12/28/06 - 10:26 AM]
Monday Night Football: Most-Watched Series in Cable Television History
The 17 games averaged 12.325 million viewers and are the biggest 17 household audiences for cable television in 2006.

[via press release from ESPN]



ESPN�s inaugural season of Monday Night Football was the most-watched series in cable television history. The 17 games averaged 9,109,000 homes (12,325,000 P2+), based on a 9.9 rating, and are the biggest 17 household audiences for cable television in 2006. The accompanying �Monday Night Surround� content on ESPN.com sparked an increase of Monday traffic to the site of 52%.

�ESPN�s Monday Night Football greatly exceeded all expectations. Our commitment to present MNF as never before served our fans and lifted every aspect of ESPN�s business. Credit goes to the hundreds of employees who made it work week after week,� said George Bodenheimer, president, ESPN and ABC Sports.


MNF now occupies nine of the top 10 spots on the list of cable�s biggest household audiences ever (excludes breaking news), including the new #1, the October 23 New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys game (11,807,000 homes, based on a 12.8 rating). Nine games drew larger audiences than ESPN�s previous all-time best, 8,927,000 homes (Detroit at Miami, December 25, 1994).

MNF averaged a 9.9 rating and 9,109,000 homes (12,325,000 P2+), increases of 39%, 43% and 41%, respectively, compared to last year�s ESPN Sunday Night Football (7.1 rating, 6.388 million homes, 8.735 million viewers).

Each MNF game was simulcast on local over-the-air channels in the local markets of the competing teams, boosting ESPN�s audience to an estimated average of 9,600,000 households. This would represent over a 10.0 rating on ESPN. The total also includes those viewing in high definition on ESPN HD.

Other highlights for the 2006 NFL season:

� ESPN led all networks � cable or broadcast � in delivery of all key male demos on Mondays in primetime: men 18+, men 18-34, men 18-49 and men 25-54.

� Four times, ESPN was the most-watched network � cable or broadcast � in primetime on Monday.

� ESPN led all cable networks in overall household delivery in primetime (an average of 2,427,000 households throughout the week).

� More than 109 million people tuned into Monday Night Football on ESPN at some point in the season.

� For the last 18 consecutive weeks, ESPN has led all cable networks in delivery of adult men on a total-day basis (since the week of August 21), as well as men 18-54.

� Since MNF started, ESPN�s 24-hour audience on Sundays and Mondays is up 23% compared to the same period last year. The network has averaged 1,488,000 homes this year on those two days, compared to 1,209,000 in 2005.

ESPN�s NFL Studio Shows Strong:

� The household audience for Monday Night Countdown is up 23% (from 1,749,000 homes to 2,155,000)

� Sunday NFL Countdown is up 5% (from 1,945,000 to 2,042,000)

� The weekday NFL Live show has seen a 22% rise in viewership (from 443,000 to 542,000).

�Monday Night Surround� on ESPN.com

Online, ESPN.com�s NFL and "Monday Night Surround" content viewed on computers and wireless devices generated an average of 24 million page views on Mondays, up 52% over page views last year according to Web measurement tool HitBox.

  [december 2006]  


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