Well, well, well… I guess the Bears are still relevant in Chicago after all.
Despite a losing season, Bears fans turned out by the boatload for Monday night’s game between the Brett Favre-led Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears.
Locally, ABC-owned WLS-TV averaged a 20.6 Nielsen household rating for its ESPN simulcast of the game. ESPN itself added 10.5 rating points to bring the total to a whopping 31.1
Nationally, the game drew a 12.0 household rating – beating all fare on both the broadcast networks (who were heavy in reruns) and cable outlets. Overall, the Vikings-Bears game drew 17 million viewers – ranking it the sixth most watched cable television program of all time.
While Favre was the main attraction, it was the Bears who stole the show – Jay Cutler threw the winning touchdown pass in overtime to beat the Vikings 36-30 in a thrilling game.