MNF's Favre Factors

Many in Green Bay and the Big Apple no doubt want to see Benedict Favre get decleated. Some, except of course, for Jenn Sterger, wouldn’t mind gawking at the Old Texter getting depantsed.

Others want to check out Randy Moss’s return to his old squad, or watch the Hard Knocking News York J-E-T-S flying around Favre and the football.

Whatever the reason (s), the boys in Bristol and those on Park Avenue are hoping for a big audience for Oct. 11 edition of MNF at The New Meadowlands.

Last week’s, New England-Miami game drew a 10.4 cable (9.0 national rating), 10.4 million households and 13.9 million viewers. Although the Patriots’ blowout ranked as the fifth most-viewed program on cable in 2010, it lagged ESPN’s average through the first five games (four weeks) of a 10.8 rating, 10.8 million households and 14.8 million watchers.

It also matched up quite unfavorably with the fifth contest of the 2009 MNF schedule. Granted that’s when Favre pushed Minnesota to a 30-23 win over his former mates in Green Bay, which set cable’s all-time viewing records of a 15.3 rating, 15.1 million households and 21.8 million viewers.

That Favre fare lifted ESPN to averages of an 11.4 rating, 11.3 million households and 15.7 million watchers through the first five games of its 2009 MNF slate, advances of 19%, 21% and 24%, respectively, over the same point in the 2008 campaign.

Figure, ESPN should ring up one of its top audiences of the season tonight with Favre returning to the scene - well, at least across the parking lot from the now defunct Giants Stadium — of his mediocre comeback season with New York (so much for “once you’re a Jet…”).

The bigger audience could materialize two weeks hence when the New Meadowlands’ other tenant, the New York Giants, visits Jerry World’s and the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 25. The Oct. 23, 2006 G-men-Boys battle once stood as the most-watched show in cable history as over 16 million watched Eli Manning outgun America’s Team 36-22.

Should the Jets drop the Vikes tonight, the Oct. 17 match with the Cowboys at Mall of America Field would pit a couple of one-win squads — Dallas crashed at home against the Tennessee Titans before a national audience on Oct. 10 — battling for their playoff lives on Fox’s doubleheader contest.

The task doesn’t get any easier for the Vikings in the following weeks: on the road at Lambeau and the Packers on Oct. 24 on NBC’s SNF and at Tom Brady’s Bunch in Gillette Stadium on Oct. 25. The NFL’s signal-calling Hamlet may have wished he hung up his holster in Hattiesburg after that stretch, and the Favre factor with the Nielsens could settle on Boot Hill to boot.

For their part, the Cowboys, after hosting the Giants on MNF, are at home on Halloween against the Jacksonville Jaguars, before traveling to the Pack and the G-men the next two weeks.

Who’d a thunk it: Reservations for a home game at Cowboys Stadium in Super Bowl XLV could be canceled by mid-November.