Though the numbers were not as large as could be expected, considering the teams involved, Monday’s Bears/49ers game gave ESPN a boost in the overnight ratings.
The Week 11 edition of “Monday Night Football,” pitting the Bears against the 49ers, earned a 9.3 overnight rating on ESPN — up 9% from Chiefs/Patriots last year (8.5), and up 12% from Broncos/Chargers in 2010 (8.3).
The 9.3 overnight is the highest for “MNF” in Week 11 since at least 2007.
Considering that both teams are big-market contenders, one could have expected better numbers for Monday’s game. However, injuries to both quarterbacks — the Bears’ Jay Cutler and the 49ers’ Alex Smith — likely played a role in keeping the numbers down.
Locally, the ESPN telecast drew a 14.5 rating in Chicago and an 8.2 in the Bay Area. The game was also simulcast on local affiliates in both markets, earning a 12.9 on Bay Area CBS affiliate KPIX and a 9.9 on Chicago independent affiliate WCIU.
(Monday’s numbers from ESPN)