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[11/21/06 - 08:39 PM]
ESPN's NFL Coverage Up 36% VS. 2005
ESPN spins the numbers for Monday, November 20.

[via press release from ESPN]

ESPN�S NFL COVERAGE UP 36% VS. 2005;

PLUS QUOTES & NOTES FROM LAST NIGHT

21 MILLION PAGE VIEWS MONDAY FOR ESPN.COM, UP 52% FROM 2005

FOR THE SEASON, ESPN LEADS ALL NETWORKS FOR MALE VIEWERS ON MONDAYS

Last night�s 26-10 victory by the Jacksonville Jaguars over the New York Giants on ESPN�s Monday Night Football earned an 8.9 rating, representing an average of 8,234,000 homes (10,963,000 viewers, P2+). The game was simulcast on local over-the-air channels in Jacksonville (17.5 rating) and New York (3.6 rating), boosting ESPN�s audience to an estimated average of 8,600,000 households. The total also includes those viewing in high definition on ESPN HD.

NFL Season to Date

MNF on ESPN is averaging a 10.1 rating and 9,301,000 homes (12,500,000 P2+) for 12 games in 11 weeks. These represent increases of 36%, 39% and 38%, respectively, compared to the first 11 weeks of last year�s ESPN Sunday Night Football (7.4 rating, 6.685 million homes, 9.069 million viewers).

ESPN leads all networks � cable or broadcast � in delivery of all key male demos on Mondays in primetime: men 18+, men 18-34, men 18-49 and men 25-54.

ESPN leads all cable networks in overall household delivery in primetime (an average of 2,580,000 households throughout the week).

ESPN�s 12 MNF games so far are cable television�s largest 12 household audiences of the year.

�Monday Night Surround� on ESPN.com

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 52% over page views last year according to Web measurement tool HitBox. In addition, there were 1.7 million views of pro-football-related videos on ESPN Motion and ESPN360 on Monday (through Tuesday at noon).

LAST NIGHT ON MNF

COMMENTS:

�The road to Canton may wind through Green Bay and Pittsburgh, but the road to television goes through the intersection of Mara and Tisch.�

� Tony Kornheiser, whose opening essay highlighted some of the great former Giants who went on to successful broadcast careers

�If he commits to ESPN, he can have my seat as early as next week.�

� Kornheiser, jokingly about Tiki Barber�s planned TV career after he retires at season�s end

Theismann: �Matt Jones and Reggie Williams are fighting the ball terribly. It hit him (Williams) right in the chest.�

Booth guest Ronde Barber: �That looked pretty catchable.�

Theismann: �They�re fighting the ball now, wouldn�t you say?�

Barber: �I�d say so. When the ball gets to your chest, your chest pad is not your friend.�

SECOND HALF KICKOFF

Tirico: �To be honest, Tom Coughlin and the Giants offense were awful in the first half.�

Kornheiser: �If you�re a sportswriter, you start out by writing the Giants stunk. If they�re feeling Dallas�s hot breath on their necks, it must be burning.�

�Eli Manning, on third-down passing, is the 31st rated quarterback in the league. That�s next to last, and you saw it right there. For a guy as good as Manning has been, he�s terrible at converting third downs.�

� Kornheiser, following an overthrown pass on 3rd-and-3

�Now you�ve got the quarterback upset that the receiver didn�t go far enough in. You�ve got the receiver upset that the ball isn�t led. See, Plax is not running hard, he just sort of eases into it. As a quarterback, you have to be on the same page.

� Theismann on the frustrations of Plaxico Burress and Eli Manning (supported by iso camera shots)

REPLAYS

Extensive replays are an integral part of ESPN�s MNF presentation, as evidenced by last night�s telecast, which featured 39 first half replays alone. An example of how ESPN replays -- coupled with Joe Theismann�s expert analysis -- cover a key aspect of the game:

THEISMANN & ISO REPLAYS ILLUSTRATE ELI�S MECHANICAL WOES

Theismann: �Mechanically, he�s very poor.�

Replay 1 � �He throws the ball dead into the ground. No touch. It�s like he�s trying to put the ball places instead of just throwing it.�

Replay 2 � �Behind Plaxico. Should have been out in front of him.�

Replay 3 � �Doesn�t get a push off. Doesn�t get his hips rotated, therefore he has no energy and no power on the throw, and that�s why it winds up being intercepted. It�s all mechanical with him.�

SKYCAM

From behind Jags� quarterback David Garrard, viewers see an entire pass play develop as he steps up to avoid the Giants pass rush and hits Ernest Wilford downfield, cutting left-to-right across the field among defenders.

JAGS RECEIVERS STRUGGLE TO MAKE THE CATCH

Suzy Kolber describes special drills the Jacksonville receivers went through during the week, adding: �(Receiver Reggie Williams says) Garrard moves around a lot more than Byron Leftwich, and the receivers have to stay alive a lot longer and adjust to an unexpected launch point.�

Theismann: �I think that�s a crock of baloney. I think if you�re a receiver, you catch the football.�

Graphic: PCT. OF ON-TARGET PASSES DROPPED

From Garrard 23%

From Leftwich 9%

Theismann: �They�ve played more with Leftwich. The velocity on the ball is different, but not that much. You�re a receiver, you get paid to catch the football no matter where it�s coming from or who it�s coming from.�

NEXT WEEK ON MNF

Next week, ESPN�s MNF will feature the Green Bay Packers visiting the Seattle Seahawks at 8:30 p.m.





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