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[11/07/06 - 05:55 PM]
ESPN's NFL Coverage Up 38% VS. 2005
ESPN spins the numbers for Monday, November 6.

[via press release from ESPN]

ESPN�S NFL COVERAGE UP 38% VS. 2005

ESPN�S 24-HOUR AUDIENCE FOR SUNDAYS/MONDAYS UP 27% VS. 2005

AVERAGE VIEWER WATCHING MNF 16% LONGER THAN LAST YEAR�S ESPN GAMES

Through 10 games of Monday Night Football, ESPN�s audience is 38% larger than last year�s games on Sunday and the network�s 24-hour average for those two days is up 27%. Also, the average viewer and the average male viewer are watching 16% longer than last year�s ESPN NFL games. Each of the nine Mondays to date, ESPN has led all networks in delivery of the key male demos in primetime.

Last Night

Last night�s 16-0 shutout victory by the Seattle Seahawks over the Oakland Raiders on ESPN�s Monday Night Football earned an 8.2 rating, representing an average of 7,587,000 homes (9,942,000 viewers, P2+). The game ranks as the 10th biggest audience on cable television of 2006, behind only other MNF games. Last night�s MNF telecast was simulcast on local over-the-air channels in San Francisco (2.6 rating) and Seattle (15.7 rating), boosting ESPN�s audience to an estimated average of 7,918,000 households. The total also includes those viewing in high definition on ESPN HD.

Season to Date

The average male viewer 18 or older is watching MNF on ESPN for 71 minutes, 10 minutes more than last year�s ESPN games on Sunday nights (thru last week). This represents an increase of 16%. Viewers overall (P2+) are averaging 65 minutes, up from 56, also an increase of 16%. �The goal with our new approach to Monday Night Football was to provide the most comprehensive coverage of the NFL while creating a telecast that is entertaining, giving people a reason to stay longer," said, Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president, studio and remote production.

Since MNF started, ESPN�s 24-hour audience on Sundays and Mondays is up 27% compared to the same nine-week period last year. The network has averaged 1,558,000 homes this year on those two days, compared to 1,226,000 in 2005.

Since Monday Night Football began on September 11, for each of the nine weeks ESPN has led all networks � cable or broadcast � in delivery of all key male demos in primetime: men 18+, men 18-34, men 18-49 and men 25-54.

For the NFL season to date, MNF on ESPN is averaging a 10.4 rating and 9,613,000 homes (12,955,000 P2+) for 10 games in nine weeks. These represent increases of 38%, 41% and 40%, respectively, compared to the first nine weeks of last year�s ESPN Sunday Night Football (7.5 rating, 6.803 million homes, 9.256 million viewers).

�Monday Night Surround� on ESPN.com and ESPN

Online, ESPN.com�s NFL and "Monday Night Surround" content viewed on computers and wireless devices generated more than 21 million page views Monday, up 24 percent over page views last year according to Web measurement tool HitBox. In addition, there were 1.4 million views of pro-football-related videos on ESPN Motion and ESPN360 on Monday (through Tuesday at noon).

MNF continues to boost ESPN�s ratings throughout the day; adding in the pre- and post-game shows, ESPN delivered 18.0 gross ratings points.

NEXT WEEK ON MNF

Next week, ESPN�s MNF will feature the Tampa Bay Buccaneers visiting the Carolina Panthers at 8:30 p.m.





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