Football powers ESPN ratings win


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