When it comes to the ratings, when in doubt, call on the Dallas Cowboys. In their only appearance on Monday Night Football of the 2017 season last week, the Cowboys steered the Worldwide Leader to a win in the cable primetime ratings. And to top it off, ESPN won cable primetime for the third straight week.
Multichannel News says ESPN averaged 3.1 million viewers for the week ending October 1, easily outpacing Fox News which drew 2.2 million viewers which was in second place. And MSNBC placed in third with 1.6 million.
The Dallas Cowboys-Arizona Cardinals game on September 25 averaged 13.6 million viewers making that the most-watched program on cable. And that outdrew the second most-watched show which was the Thursday Night Football game between the Bears and Packers which was a simulcast on CBS and NFL Network. The cable-only audience for TNF for the first portion of a game that was hit by a weather delay had 3.9 million viewers.
Other programs finishing in the top ten are multiple showings of Hannity on Fox News, WWE Monday Night Raw on USA and SportsCenter on ESPN following Monday Night Football.
But overall, the Cowboys drove ESPN to some good numbers so it could take the overall lead in the cable primetime ratings.
And this past Monday, ESPN (along with its sister networks ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes) got an average audience of 12.1 million for Kansas City-Washington which was the most-watched show among all networks on both broadcast and cable.
It should once again put ESPN on top of the cable primetime ratings for this week. Overall, after some shaky numbers last year, it seems that Monday Night Football is once again the cable powerhouse as in the past.