Whether in playoff contention or not, a battle of 3-7 teams is generally unattractive from a television ratings perspective.
ESPN drew an 8.1 overnight rating for Monday’s 49ers/Cardinals game, down 44% from Week 12 last year (NE/NO: 14.4), but down only 1% from Week 12 in 2008 (GB/NO: 8.2).
Last year’s Patriots/Saints game drew ESPN’s highest Monday Night Football overnight ever.
The 8.1 overnight for Monday’s game is the second-lowest of the season not only for Monday Night Football, but for any NFL telecast on ESPN, CBS, FOX or NBC.
ESPN’s telecast earned an 11.4 rating in Phoenix and a 10.0 in the Bay Area. As usual, the game was simulcast on local broadcast affiliates in both markets, drawing an 8.1 on independent Phoenix affiliate KTVK and a 10.0 on Bay Area CBS affiliate KPIX.
(Ratings from Sports Business Daily)