Bears win on the field – and in the ratings

Down goes Rodgers. (AP)
Down goes Rodgers. (AP)

After a few lackluster matchups on ESPN’s Monday Night Football, the franchise got back on track with the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers meeting up at Lambeau Field – another meeting in the long, storied rivalry between these two popular teams.

According to Broadcasting & Cable, ESPN drew 16.1 million viewers, making it the second most-watched MNF telecast this season, only behind the Philadelphia Eagles- Washington Redskins (16.5 million.) Among adults 18-49, Bears-Packers drew a 6.1 rating, topping all broadcast and cable shows Monday evening.

By comparison, last week’s MNF game (Seahawks-Rams) drew a season low opposite the World Series.

In Chicago, ESPN earned a 20.3 rating while WCIU contributed a 13.7, adding up to a 34 rating. The 13.7 rating WCIU earned is a huge improvement over what the station usually gets in prime (around a 1.0.)

In Milwaukee, ESPN earned a 13.9 while ABC affiliate WISN contributed a huge 36.4, adding up to a 50.3 rating. WISN and ABC affiliate WBAY in Green Bay both pre-empted Dancing With The Stars and Castle (ratings for Green Bay are not available since it is not a metered market; numbers for the game should be available when the November ratings book comes out in a few weeks.)

The game certainly had an effect on the four networks’ prime-time lineup, as several series hit season lows, including The Voice, Sleepy Hollow and Blacklist. Many of them are expected to go up once DVR numbers are factored in.

Dancing With The Stars was the most-watched entertainment show of the evening, with 14.38 million viewers. Also of note Monday evening on cable was VH1’s docudrama Love and Hip Hop with a 1.6 adult 18-49 demo, easily coasting past The CW and CBS’ Hostages.

As for the action on the field, the Bears beat the Packers 27-20 thanks to solid play from backup QB Josh McCown (in for injured starting QB Jay Cutler) and the Bears offense – not to mention an injury suffered to Packers QB Aaron Rodgers early in the first quarter.  The victory marks the first win for the Bears in Green Bay since 2007 and the first overall in three years. The Bears are now tied for first with the Detroit Lions atop the NFC North – and both teams play each other this Sunday at Noon on Fox with Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa on the call.

TV By The Numbers contributed to this report.