Monday Night Football: Most-Watched Series on Cable
Three Biggest Cable Household Audiences of 2008, 13 of Top 15;
ESPN.com Averages 68.1 Million Page Views on Mon./Tues., Up 51% From 2007
ESPN’s third season of Monday Night Football was the most-watched series on cable television in 2008, set an all-time cable viewership record for the third straight year and drew the year’s three biggest cable household audiences and 13 of the top 15. In three seasons on ESPN, Monday Night Football has registered seven of the top 10 all-time biggest household audiences in cable history, led by the Eagles-Cowboys telecast on September 15, which attracted cable’s largest household audience ever (an average of 12,953,000 million homes).
ESPN’s 17 Monday Night Football telecasts in 2008 averaged a 8.9 rating, representing an average of 8,679,000 households (11,962,000 viewers – P2+), increases of 3%, 5% and 7%, respectively, vs. 2007 (8.6; 8,277,000 and 11,230,000). MNF ended on a particularly strong note with last night’s Chicago Bears’ 20-17 overtime victory over the Green Bay Packers delivering a 9.8 rating, representing an average of 9,582,000 households (13,803,000 viewers – P2+). The game ranks as the third-largest household audience on cable this year.
For the season, the accompanying “Monday Night Surround” content on ESPN.com sparked an increase of Monday (through Tuesday at noon ET) traffic to the site of 51% with an average 68.1 million page views per week.
“ESPN’s Monday Night Football was a resounding success this season with ratings and viewership increases from a year ago and an overwhelmingly positive response from fans to our new approach highlighting technology and X’s and O’s analysis,” said John Wildhack, ESPN executive vice president, program acquisitions & strategy. “By offering quality football content across many platforms, we are proud to continue the tradition of this great franchise which is so revered by fans, players and coaches, and we are already looking forward to MNF’s 40th season in 2009.”
MNF on TV
MNF occupies seven of the top 10 spots on the list of cable’s biggest household audiences ever (excludes breaking news), including the new #1, the September 15 Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys game with an average of 12,953,000 homes (18,608,000 total viewers, based on a 13.3 rating).
ESPN’s NFL games account for 13 of the top 15 biggest household audiences (and eight of the top 10) for any basic cable television program in 2008. They rank first, second, third, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th.
Other highlights for the 2008 NFL season:
- ESPN led all networks – cable or broadcast – in delivery of all key male demos (men 18-34, men 18-49 and men 25-54) and adults 18-34 every Monday in primetime this season.
- ESPN led all networks – cable or broadcast – in delivery of adults 18-49 on 15 of 16 Mondays in primetime.
- Four times, ESPN was the most-watched network – cable or broadcast – in primetime on Monday.
- Since the start of the NFL season, ESPN has led all cable networks in overall household delivery in primetime (an average of 2,335,000 households throughout the week).
- For the past 9 consecutive weeks, ESPN has led all cable networks in delivery of adult men on a total-day basis, as well as men 18-54. ESPN has been #1 among M18+ and M18-54 for 13 of the past 15 weeks.
“Monday Night Surround” on ESPN.com
NFL content on ESPN.com, including “Monday Night Surround,” accessed via computers and mobile devices generated an average 68.1 million page views and 9.5 million visits from Monday through Tuesday at noon, up 51% and 19%, respectively, over 2007, according to Web measurement tool Omniture/Hitbox. Specifically, NFL content on mobile averaged 11.1 million page views and 1.5 million visits for Monday through Tuesday at noon for the season. In addition, pro football-related video on ESPN.com averaged more than 2.5 million views per week and SportsCenter Right Now averaged 1.5 million views. ESPN football-related podcasts were downloaded an average of more than 641,000 per week since the season kicked off.