ESPN heads have lots of reason to be happy today. The “Worldwide Leader in Sports” lived up to its name once again as it took all key male demos and adult demos Monday night. The win is thanks to ESPN’s weekly Monday Night Football broadcast. Monday night’s broadcast of the Saints’ 38-17 victory over the Dolphins helped ESPN take the night in its key demos across both cable and standard broadcast networks. The broadcast ranked a strong second overall for the night across networks and programs in total viewers.
Monday night’s MNF broadcast pulled in an 8.6 US rating. That number represents an average of 9,945,000 households and 13,717,000 viewers according to Nielsen. ESPN pulled its highest numbers in a fifteen minute window between 9:30pm ET and 9:45pm ET with a 10.4 rating. In the Dolphins’ home turf of Miami, the game pulled a 13.1 rating on ESPN and a 4.0 on WSFL-CW. The numbers combine for a total rating in the Miami market of 17.1. On the other side of the ball, viewers in New Orleans helped the broadcast pull in a rating of 21.7 on ESPN and a 39.3 on the Saints’ home station, WDSU-NBC. The ratings combined for a total 61.0 rating in that market. This is a huge number for the New Orleans market as both numbers by themselves and together beat out the top 10 metered markets and the markets of competing teams.
Through the fourth week of the NFL’s regular season, ESPN’s MNF broadcasts now average an 8.8 rating, which is equivalent to 10,201,000 households and 13,985,000 viewers. This ties the network’s numbers in the same period during the 2012 NFL season.
Next week on ESPN’s weekly broadcast, Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons face off against Geno Smith and the New York Jets. The game is scheduled to start at 8:30pm.
Monday Night’s ratings win is just one more reason for ESPN staffers to be happy. That’s because ESPN also took the night Saturday night, too. ABC’s Saturday Night Football presented by Windows pulled in an average of 6,751,000 viewers and a 4.0 household rating. The night’s broadcast saw the Ohio State Buckeyes defeat the Wisconsin Badgers 31-24. The broadcast put ABC in the night’s top spot in all key male and adult demos (18-34, 18-49, and 25-54).
ESPN’s Saturday night doubleheader brought the network to a solid second place finish for the night across all key male and adult demos. The University of Alabama blanked Ole Miss 25-0 in the first game of the night’s doubleheader schedule. The match pulled in an average 4,022,000 viewers and a 2.3 household rating. The second game of the night, Stanford’s 55-17 defeat of Washington State, finished with an average 1,851,000 viewers and a 1.2 household rating.
ESPN2’s broadcast of Texas A&M’s 45-33 win over Arkansas on September 28th averaged 2,761000 viewers and a 1.7 household rating. That game, combined with those on ESPN and ABC , means that the networks together aired the four-most viewed college football games on Saturday night.
To put things into even more perspective for viewers, ABC’s Saturday Night Football presented by Windows is averaging 6,351,000 viewers so far this season with a 3.8 household rating. That is an increase of seventeen percent and thirteen percent respectively over the network’s numbers for its broadcasts in 2012. Overall, ESPN’s Saturday Night series is growing, too. This season so far, it is averaging 3,899,000 viewers and a 2.3 household rating. Those are increases of thirty-three percent and twenty-eight percent respectively. And ESPNU’s Saturday night broadcasts are up thirty percent and thirty-three percent respectively in comparison to last year’s numbers at this time. This year so far, ESPNU’s Saturday night broadcasts are averaging 651,000 viewers and a 0.4 household rating.
If these numbers aren’t enough reason to ESPN’s staffers and fans to celebrate, ESPN’s weekly Thursday night broadcast has seen significant growth over 2012, too. It is averaging 2,681,000 viewers so far this season and a 1.8 household rating. Those are increases of fifteen and thirteen percent respectively lover last year’s numbers at this time. And its overall college football game coverage is averaging 3,104,000 viewers with a 2.0 household rating. Those are increases of sixteen and twelve percent over 2012’s numbers respectively.
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