In what figures to be his Monday Night Football swan song
(maybe), Brett Favre helped lift ESPN to its fourth biggest audience of
the year and the ninth-largest in cable history.
Favre, a week after a
shoulder injury tackled his record NFL consecutive game streak at 297,
made a surprise appearance, which coupled with snow, the first outdoor
pro football game in Minneapolis in 30 years and the popular Chicago
Bears, generated an 11.6 cable rating, (9.9 national), 11.6 million
households and nearly 17.1 million watchers, according to Nielsen data.
coverage of Chicago's 40-14 rout, which saw Favre leave in the second
quarter after sustaining a concussion, gave ESPN the night among all
programs -- broadcast or cable -- in households, viewers and all key
male and adult demos for the fifth time this season. Moreover, MNF has won the night among men 18 to 34 and 18 to 49, persons 18 to 34 and 18-49 demos for 15 consecutive weeks.