SBD/October 27, 2010/Media

ESPN Draws Fourth-Largest Cable Aud Ever For Giants-Cowboys

ESPN earned an 11.2 U.S. rating and 17.953 million viewers for its Giants-Cowboys "MNF" telecast from 8:30pm-12:11am ET, marking the biggest audience on cable TV this year, ahead of the 17.454 million viewers for the Packers-Bears "MNF" telecast from Sept. 27. Giants-Cowboys also marks the fourth-largest audience in cable TV history, excluding breaking news. Compared to Eagles-Redskins in Week Seven last year, Giants-Cowboys is up 38.3% and 40.6%, respectively, from an 8.1 U.S. rating and 12.766 million viewers. Monday night's telecast was also up 6% and 12%, respectively, from the net's first Giants-Cowboys "MNF" telecast in '07. "MNF" led all programs for the night, broadcast or cable, among all key adult and male demos, and helped ESPN win the night among all nets in those same demos. Through seven weeks, ESPN is averaging a 9.4 U.S. rating and 14.962 million viewers, up 2.2% and 1.7%, respectively, from a 9.2 rating and 14.717 million viewers through the same point last season (Austin Karp, THE DAILY). In Dallas, Barry Horn noted Giants-Cowboys earned a combined 31.2 local rating and 809,515 HHs on ESPN and KXTA-Ind., marking the "worst Dallas-Fort Worth TV rating of the season" for a Cowboys game. A "new local season low should come Sunday" when the Cowboys play the Jaguars at noon CT (DALLASNEWS.com, 10/26).

TOP FIVE MOST-VIEWED PROGRAMS IN CABLE TV HISTORY
RK
DATE
PROGRAM
NET
U.S.
RATING
VIEWERS
(000)
1
10/5/09
"MNF": Packers-Vikings
ESPN
13.2
21,839
2
11/30/09
"MNF": Patriots-Saints
ESPN
12.9
21,402
3
9/15/08
"MNF": Eagles-Cowboys
ESPN
11.3
18,608
4
10/25/10
"MNF": Giants-Cowboys
ESPN
11.2
17,953
5
12/3/07
"MNF": Patriots-Ravens
ESPN
11.1
17,522

FAVRE'S STILL GOT SOMETHING LEFT: In Baltimore, David Zurawik noted NBC's broadcast of the "SNF" Vikings-Packers game was "No. 1 in viewers, households and demographics" for the night. Zurawik: "Brett Favre might be a broken-down, pathetic looking, obnoxious, self-absorbed old guy who doesn't know when to retire. ... But apparently, he is still pretty good box office" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 10/26).

MAX COVERAGE TOO MUCH? In DC, Leonard Shapiro wrote "instituting a new rule for the league's television partners, one that would follow a policy the networks have used for years in other major sports," would be a way to "curb the number of dangerously flagrant helmet-to-helmet hits in the NFL." Shapiro: "Whenever an overzealous fan runs out on to the field in baseball, for example, the cameras almost always focus elsewhere. ... So why not do the same for dangerous hits." There is "no way to avoid airing those hits in the normal live telecast of the action," and "in a perfect world, one replay would also be permissible, if only to show the audience exactly why the guilty player was flagged for unnecessary roughness." NFL studio shows "also would be allowed to air the play once in order to inform viewers who may not have seen the play live." But Shapiro wrote, "Anything beyond that surely would have to be considered gratuitous and would not be allowed" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 10/26).

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