ESPN’s Monday Night Football tilt between the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions was a success for ESPN and the city of Detroit – but not for the Bears.
The game on WCIU earned a 13.4 household rating and a 20 share while ESPN pulled a 18.8/27, combining for an overall 32.2/47, easily outdrawing other series in the Chicago market, including Dancing With the Stars (Nationally, Dancing hit a series low in the adult 18-49 demo with a 3.0 rating.)
Usually, WLS-TV would carry the ESPN telecast of any Bears Monday Night Football game since both the station and the cable network are both owned by ESPN. In the last few years however, WLS has been reluctant to delay Dancing to the wee hours since Chicago is usually one of the show’s strongest markets. So, the game was casted off onto WCIU (If there is a ESPN-televisied game involving the Bears in December, WLS usually carries it, since Dancing concludes by then.)
In Detroit on the other hand – where Dancing was pushed to 2 a.m or so Tuesday morning, Scripps-owned WXYZ notched a huge 25.7 household rating while ESPN added another 10.7 rating points. It was the first Monday Night Football game held in Detroit in ten years.
Nationally, the game drew 16.4 million viewers as it faced fierce competition from NLCS baseball on TBS and an ALCS baseball overrun on Fox, which featured another Detroit team – the Tigers taking on the Texas Rangers.
The rest of the Monday night ratings race showed CBS finishing first for the night in the adult demo ratings, led by Two and a Half Men’s 5.8. Fox’s ALCS overrun did not boost Terra Nova (2.6) or House (2.3), while in the battle of overrated dramas, it was CBS’ Hawaii Five-O eeked out a win over ABC’s Castle, 2.6 to 2.4.
Both NBC’s and CW’s lineup were far behind the competition.
As for Monday Night Football, the scene at Ford Field was ecstatic as the Lions beat the Bears 24-13 to go to 5-0 – the Lions’ best start since 1956 – more remarkable given the Lions went 0-16 in 2008. Currently, the unbeaten Lions are tied for first in the NFC North with the also unbeaten Green Bay Packers.
So what about the 2-3 Bears you ask? Their next game is against the 1-4 Minnesota Vikings on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. Since this is the network currently giving us such gems as Whitney and The Sing-Off, the Vikings-Bears matchup would fit right in. Maybe Bears General Manager Jerry Angelo can get a job in the programming department at NBC? After all, they did hire Ben “Party All The Time” Silverman.