Football powers ESPN ratings win

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Even the return of Ozzy Osbourne could not dethrone the National Football League from the top
of last week's Nielsen Media Research cable ratings.

ESPN's Sunday Night Football telecast Dec. 1 nabbed an 8.5 rating,
while the season-two premiere of The Osbournes on MTV: Music Television notched a 5.2
rating, according to Nielsen.

ESPN finished the week of Nov. 25 through Dec. 1 with a 2.3 prime time average,
the highest among all cable channels.

MTV, which finished with a 1.0 average, also boasted a 4.1 rating for The
Real World XXII
, which was the lead-in for The Osbournes.

USA Network claimed the second-best prime time average with a 1.8 rating.

TBS Superstation -- which notched a 2.9 rating Dec. 1 for its latest original movie,
Christmas Rush -- finished the week with a 1.7 average, an improvement over
recent weeks.

Nickelodeon and Lifetime Television also turned in 1.7 prime time