So far, so good for “Monday Night Football” on ESPN, the debut of which produced the highest ratings in the twenty-six year history of the network.
ESPN’s first regular-season Monday night NFL game under the new contract drew the cable network’s biggest audience ever and delivered a major boost to ESPN.com and its new “Monday Night Surround” content.
The game between the Minnesota Vikings and Washington Redskins, won 19-16 by Minnesota, drew a 9.9 rating, representing an average of between nearly 9.2 million and 12.57 million households, the network said. The previous record was 8.9 million households on Christmas Day 1994 for a game between Detroit and Miami.
ESPN’s second Monday night game, San Diego’s 27-0 win over Oakland, received a rating of 8.5 and was seen in an average of 7.87 million households.
The ratings are low by prime time football and MNF standards, though. Putting games on a network that not everyone has access to guarantees that.
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