Monday Night Football: ESPN’s Most-Viewed Preseason Game Ever and Highest-Rated Since 1996
ESPN “Wins the Night” Among All Nets, Concludes Its Most-Viewed NFL Preseason Ever
Last night’s preseason telecast of ESPN’s Monday Night Football, a 17-10 victory for the Minnesota Vikings over the Houston Texans, earned a 6.0 rating, representing an average of 5,943,000 households (7,918,000 viewers – P2+), making it ESPN's most-viewed NFL preseason game ever and its highest-rated since New England-Dallas on Aug. 12, 1996 – 6.6 rating.
ESPN's MNF game was the most-viewed program of the night (broadcast or cable) among households, viewers, all key male demos, Adults 18-34, and Adults 18-49. Additionally, ESPN was the No. 1 network for the night (broadcast or cable) among households, viewers, and all key male and adult demos.
The game, which featured quarterback Brett Favre’s second start since joining the Vikings, ranks as the ninth most-viewed cable program of the year and ESPN’s third highest-rated/most-viewed program of the year among households.
ESPN’s four preseason games in August averaged a 4.3 rating, 4,233,000 households, and 5,516,000 viewers (P2+), representing increases of 41%, 45%, and 44%, respectively, over the 2008 preseason schedule. The four-game average is the highest-rated preseason for ESPN since 2006 (4.6 rating) and the second highest-rated of the past 15 seasons. Additionally, this ranks as ESPN’s most-viewed NFL preseason ever.
MNF REGULAR SEASON
ESPN will kick off the 40th season of Monday Night Football with a season-opening doubleheader on September 14 with a pair of Legacy Games celebrating the 50-year anniversary of the American Football League. ESPN’s new MNF commentator team of Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski will call the Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots (7 p.m. ET), followed by Mike Greenberg, Mike Golic and Steve Young calling the San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders (10:15 p.m. ET).