via press release:
Monday Night Football Delivers Its Best ESPN Opening Night
ESPN Wins the Night Among All Networks in Prime Time; No. 2 and 3 Biggest Cable Household Audiences of 2010; 225.9 Million Page Views of ESPN.com NFL Content
Last night’s special 2010 season-opening ESPN Monday Night Football doubleheader delivered the network’s highest-rated and most-viewed opening night, helping ESPN win the night among all networks (broadcast or cable) in households, viewers and all key male and adult demos. In addition, the games drove significant traffic to ESPN.com’s NFL content. This is the start of the fifth year of MNF on ESPN.
The Baltimore Ravens’ 10-9 road victory over the New York Jets in the first prime-time game at the New Meadowlands Stadium (7 p.m. ET) earned a 10.9 rating, representing an average of 10,850,000 households (14,973,000 viewers – P2+), the second largest audience for any program on cable television in 2010. It is the highest rating of ESPN’s 10 MNF opening night games.
At 10:15 p.m., the Kansas City Chiefs’ 21-14 win over the San Diego Chargers received an 8.8 rating with an average of 8,803,000 households watching (11,889,000 viewers), the third-largest household audience for any program on cable television in 2010.
The two MNF games – the two highest-rated programs of the night on any network – combined for ESPN’s highest-rated and most-viewed season-opening doubleheader since the format started in 2006. ESPN's two games averaged a 9.9 household rating, 9,922,000 households (13,574,000 viewers), a three percent increase from last year’s combined 9.6 (Buffalo-New England: 10.3 rating; 10,224,000 HHs and 14,001,000 viewers; and San Diego-Oakland: 8.9; 8,774,000 and 11,945,000).
ESPN averaged an 11.9 coverage rating (10.3 U.S. rating) in prime time (8-11 p.m.), representing an average of 11,922,000 households (16,394,000 viewers), the highest of any network (broadcast or cable) for the night, with the lead in all key male and adult demos.
ESPN’s 2009 MNF season finale, a Minnesota Vikings overtime victory over the Chicago Bears (12/28/09), ranks as the most-watched program on cable television in the Nielsen 2010 calendar year among homes, averaging 11,899,000 homes (17,006,000 viewers).
Also, ESPN.com had a strong kickoff to the 2010 NFL season with 225.9 million page views and more than 318 million minutes (an 18 percent increase over last year) generated with NFL content on Sunday and Monday. ESPN’s Mobile web site had more than 67 million page views and 118 million minutes (up 67percent), spent with NFL content on the ESPN mobile web site and ScoreCenter App.
NEXT WEEK ON MNF
Next week, ESPN’s MNF returns with its usual schedule as Drew Brees and the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints face the San Francisco 49ers at 8:30 p.m. The complete Monday night NFL schedule on ESPN:
Time (ET) Program
3:30 p.m. NFL Live
4 p.m. NFL PrimeTime
5 p.m. Around the Horn
5:30 p.m. Pardon the Interruption
6 p.m. SportsCenter Monday Kickoff
7 p.m. Monday Night Countdown
8:30 p.m. MNF: New Orleans at San Francisco
11:30 p.m. SportsCenter