For the third time since gaining the rights to Monday Night Football in 2006, ESPN has claimed the largest audience in cable television history.
Last night’s thriller between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles drew a 13.3 cable rating and 18.6 million viewers on ESPN Monday night, up 46% and 60% from the comparable game last year, and the most watched program in the history of cable television. The 18.6 million viewers surpasses the previous record of 17.5 million for last year’s Patriots/Ravens MNF match-up.
In Dallas, the game drew a 37.5 rating, with more viewers watching on ESPN (19.9) than on the local affiliate (17.6 on KTXA). In Philadelphia, the game drew a 42.2 rating, with the local affiliate rating (26.8 on WPVI) easily surpassing ESPN (15.5).
Through three telecasts, Monday Night Football is averaging a 10.1 cable rating and 13.8 million viewers, up 23% and 32%, respectively, from last year.
Most viewed programs in cable history.
18.6 mil: Monday Night Football, Eagles/Cowboys (9/15/08, 8:30 PM ESPN)
17.5 mil: Monday Night Football, Patriots/Ravens (12/3/07, 8:30 PM ESPN)
17.2 mil: High School Musical 2 (8/16/07, Disney)
16.0 mil: Monday Night Football, Cowboys/Giants (10/23/06, 8:30 PM ESPN)