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Favre leads Vikings and ESPN to big win

October 6, 2009 |  3:27 pm

Beating every team in the NFL wasn't the only record Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre set. He also led ESPN's "Monday Night Football" to record ratings for a cable telecast.

FAVRE Favre's victory over his old team not only kept the Minnesota Vikings under undefeated, it also drove Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN to its strongest night ever. The game, which has been heavily anticipated since Favre came out of retirement (for a second time) in August, drew 21.8 million viewers, making it the most-watched cable television program in history. Needless to say, it also totally crushed the broadcast competition, whose top show Monday night was CBS' "CSI Miami," which attracted 13.4 million viewers ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" with 16.3 million viewers. Among adults ages 18 to 49, the game -- which the Vikings won by a score of 30 to 23 (it wasn't that close) -- scored a 9.0 rating. Each rating point in that demographic equals 1.3 million adults, which translates to almost 12 million people.

Last night's game beat the previous best for a cable show, which was also an ESPN football telecast. Last year's Philadephia Eagles-Dallas Cowboys match attracted 18.6 million viewers. The most-watched non-sports cable show was Disney Channel's 2007 telecast of "High School Musical 2," which averaged 17.2 million viewers.

-- Joe Flint