The resurgence of America's Team -- until it ran into its rival with the controversial nickname -- helped ESPN register its highest-rated and most-watched Monday Night Football telecast since 2009 and 2010, respectively.
The worldwide leader's presentation of the Dallas Cowboys-Washington Redskins game averaged an 11.4 household rating, 13.3 million households and 18.8 million watchers, according to Nielsen data. Those were the franchise's top deliveries since the New Orleans Saints-New England Patriots matchup on Nov. 30, 2009 posted a 12.9 rating and the Saints-Atlanta Falcons game on Dec. 27, 2010 notched 19.1 million watchers. According to ESPN officials, Dallas-Washington on a live+same-day basis now stands as the seventh- and ninth-most watched telecasts in cable history from household and viewer perspectives (see charts below).
With the performance, MNF was TV's top telecast of the night across cable and broadcast in viewers, households and all key male and adult demos, helping ESPN win the night among all networks in those same categories.
The Oct. 27 telecast peaked with a 13.6 rating and 22.5 million watchers during the 11:30 p.m. quarter, when the Colt McCoy-led Redskins put the finishing touches on their 20-17 blitz of an injured Tony Romo and the 'Boys.
In Washington, D.C., the game generated a 17.8 rating on ESPN and a 12.6 on WDCA-IND, for a combined 30.4 rating in the market. In Dallas, the game tackled a 14.0 rating on ESPN and a 22.6 on WFAA-ABC, for a combined 36.6 rating in the market.
Boosted by the big numbers from the thriller at AT&T Stadium, ESPN's MNF average through eight weeks and nine games rose 4% to an 8.6 rating from an 8.3 at the same stage of the 2013 campaign, and 10.05 million households, 5% more than the 9.59 million households last season. MNF's average audience improved 7% to 13.98 million watchers from 13.07 million.
For its part, Spanish-language service ESPN Deportes averaged a 0.7 Hispanic household rating with 100,000 impressions, and 128,000 Latino viewers, increases of 213% and 191% respectively, over the corresponding game last season. 'Skins-'Boys ranks as most-watched MNF game of the season and second most-watched NFL game ever on ESPN Deportes among Hispanic households, and fourth among viewers.
Season-to-date, MNF on ESPN Deportes has averaged a 0.4 Hispanic rating, up 100% percent, with 63,000 Hispanic household impressions and 92,000 Latino 2+ viewers, respective gains of 85% and 96%.
Digitally, Washington-Dallas was the most-watched MNF game ever on WatchESPN, with an average minute audience of nearly 145,000 -- 180% above week 8 last year. There were 421,000 unique viewers, marking 196% amelioration, and 30.6 million total live minutes viewed, a 203% surge.
Top 10 Most-Viewed Programs in Cable Television History (Households):
Top 10 Most-Viewed Programs in Cable Television History (Viewers):
Source: ESPN and Nielsen data.
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