8:07am PT by Mikey O'Connell
TV Ratings: 'Monday Night Football' Hits Highs on ESPN
Sunday Night Football may have returned down a shade with the start of the 2013 NFL season, but Monday Night Football was up. The ESPN franchise, which kicked off with a much-anticipated matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Washington Redskins, opened to its best-ever ratings for a season premiere.
Overnight returns give the game a 11.6 rating based on Nielsen's metered markets. Not only is that a franchise best -- Monday Night Football moved over from ABC to its cable sister eight years ago -- it achieved that status by a rather wide margin. The previous high was set in 2010 with a 10.5 overnight rating. (Last year's opener only earned a 8.1.)
Simulcast on ABC affiliates in Philadelphia and D.C., the game performed especially well in both of those markets -- raking in respective 35.1 and 38.8 overnight ratings.
Final ratings, including total viewers and performance among adults 18-49 as well as ratings for the late-night game between the Houston Texans and the San Diego Chargers, will be available Tuesday afternoon.