Ratings Bonanzas for ESPN, Big Ten Network

The ratings numbers keep going up, up, and up for football this fall season.

The officials numbers from the Pats/Saints Monday Night Football telecast are in the they are stellar.  The 15.0 rating for ESPN ranks second for all-time cable television viewing, behind the 15.3 rating earlier this season when MNF featured the Packers and Vikings…


ESPN has set the cable household viewership record four times in as many years since acquiring the rights to MNF. In all, cable’s seven biggest household audiences ever — and eight of the top 10 – (excluding breaking news) are ESPN MNF games.

Monday’s game delivered a combined 35.0 rating in Boston (13.1 on ESPN and 21.9 on WCVB-ABC), as well as a combined 66.7 rating in New Orleans (23.3 on ESPN and 43.4 on WDSU-NBC). The New Orleans rating is the highest combined local rating for ESPN’s Monday Night Football this year, surpassing the 63.9 in New Orleans for the Falcons-Saints game (Nov. 2).

For 2009, ESPN’s MNF telecasts represent cable’s 12 biggest audiences among households and viewers (and 13 of the top 14 among households). Through 12 weeks (13 games) of the NFL season, ESPN’s MNF is averaging a 10.6 rating and 10,447,000 households (14,560,000 P2+), up 18 percent, 18 percent and 19 percent, respectively, from last season.

In other ratings news the Big Ten Network has seen a 28% ratings increase in it’s college football coverage over a year ago, as reported by Nielsen in the nine surveyed Big Ten markets.  In terms of the BTN’s prime time match-ups, ratings were up an incredible 183%…

From the Big Ten Network:

In just its third season on the air, the network averaged a 2.3 household (HH) rating for its 12-week afternoon football window in its nine metered markets.* The rating exceeded all other sports cable networks airing football during the same noon ET time period.

“These season-long ratings show that the Big Ten Network is establishing itself as a top destination for college football fans,” network President Mark Silverman said. “We look forward to carrying this momentum into the Big Ten basketball season, with the network airing two-thirds of all conference games.”

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