Patriots – Ravens on Monday Night Football: Cable’s Biggest Audience Ever
ESPN Wins the Night among All Networks; ESPN.com up 39%
Monday night’s last-minute 27-24 victory by the New England Patriots over the Baltimore Ravens – keeping the visitors undefeated at 12-0 – attracted the largest household audience in cable television history and broke the record for most viewers. It also made ESPN the most-watched network – cable or broadcast – that night, the third time this season MNF has “won the night.”
ESPN’s Monday Night Football averaged 12,529,000 homes (based on a 13.0 rating), breaking the record for household audience set last year when the network averaged 11,807,000 households for the New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys on October 23 (based on a 12.8 rating). The game was seen by an average of 17,522,000 viewers (P2+), breaking the record set by Disney Channel’s High School Musical 2, which averaged 17,241,000 million viewers on August 17 this year.
ESPN out-delivered all broadcast and cable networks in prime time among households, persons 2+, and all key male and adult demo groups (M18-34, M18-49, M25-54, P18-34, P18-49, and P25-54). It was the third time ESPN has won Monday night overall; MNF has “won the night” in the male demos every week this season.
In Boston, the game delivered a 28.3 rating on ESPN and an 8.3 rating on WCVB-ABC, for a combined 36.6 rating. In Baltimore, the game delivered a 12.9 rating on ESPN and a 24.6 rating on WJZ-CBS, for a combined 37.5 rating.
The game’s audience peaked from 11:30 – 11:45 p.m. ET (the telecast ended at 11:49 p.m.) with a 17.6 rating, representing 16,920,000 homes and 23,865,000 people. For that quarter hour, ESPN’s share – the percentage of U.S. television homes watching TV that were watching ESPN – was 31.
Including ESPN’s NFL programming from 4 p.m. through post-game coverage, the network delivered 25.1 gross ratings points.
ESPN’s 14 NFL games account for 11 of the top 12 most-watched shows on basic cable in 2007 among households: the first-, second-, third-, fourth-, sixth-, seventh-, eighth-, ninth-, 10th-, 11th-, 12th-, 15th-, 16th-, and 17th-most watched.
ESPN’s previous best rating and biggest audience this year was a 10.5 (10,163,000 homes) on October 29 (Green Bay at Denver, won by the Packers 19-13 on the first play of overtime).