After two weeks of bad matchups and poor ratings, ESPN’s Monday Night Football recovered this week.
The Week 15 Steelers/49ers Monday Night Football game drew a 10.1 U.S. rating and 16.677 million viewers on ESPN, up 2% in ratings but down 2% in viewership compared to Week 15 last year (CHI/MIN: 9.9, 17.094M), and up 38% and 47%, respectively, from Week 15 in 2009 (NYG/WSH: 7.3, 11.343M).
Monday’s game ranks as the fourth-highest rated and third-most viewed NFL telecast of the season on ESPN (sixteen telecasts).
Not surprisingly, the game was the top program of the night on broadcast or cable in households, P2+ viewership and adults 18-49 (as well as the other adult and male demographics).
The game earned strong numbers despite a pair of delays due to power outages.
For the first time this season, Monday Night Football was not outdrawn NBC’s by Sunday Night Football. Sunday’s Ravens/Chargers game drew the same rating as Steelers/49ers and slightly fewer viewers.
Even with stronger numbers this week, Monday Night Football remains off last year’s pace. Through Week 15, ESPN has averaged an 8.3 U.S. rating and 13.103 million viewers for NFL games, down 7% in ratings and 9% in viewership from last year (8.9, 14.370M), and 7% and 8%, respectively, from 2009 (8.9, 14.202M).
(Week 15 numbers from espnmediazone3.com)