With just one Monday Night Football game a week, ESPN is near guaranteed to top the weekly cable primetime ratings, but with the season opening MNF double header last week it was no contest at all. ESPN averaged a third more viewers than second place USA, and more than twice the adults 18-49.
Expect ESPN to stay at or near the top of the cable ratings as long as football season continues. It could be challenged for a few weeks if TBS gets a good matchup/series during the baseball playoffs.
Even two Monday Night Football games can only take up seven or eight hours of the cable programming week, SpongeBob Squarepants never sleeps, as Nickelodeon remained at the top of the total day average viewership rankings, although ESPN was a close enough second to see the pineapple.
Prime-time Average Viewers (Live+SD) Week of September 13-19, 2010
Adults 18-49 Prime-time Average (Live+SD)
Total Day Average Viewers (Live+SD)
Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2010 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.
Cable Channel Abbreviations: NICK = Nickelodeon, NAN = Nick At Nite, TOON = Cartoon Network, ADSM = Adult Swim, TRU = truTV, LIFE = Lifetime, NKJR - Nick Jr., FAM = ABC Family, TVLD = TV Land, FOXN = Fox News, TBSC = TBS, DISC = Discovery