NEW YORK (AP) – ESPN’s Monday night NFL game was watched by more viewers than any show in cable TV history except a 1993 debate between Al Gore and Ross Perot.

Jacksonville’s 9-0 victory over Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh posted a rating of 10.6 and was seen in 9.81 million homes, topping the network’s “Monday Night Football” debut a week earlier that had been the most-watched program in the network’s history, ESPN said Tuesday.

The Gore-Perot debate on NAFTA on CNN was watched in 11.174 million households.

The first game of last week’s “Monday Night Football” doubleheader between Minnesota and Washington drew a 9.9 rating, representing an average of between nearly 9.2 million and 12.57 million households, the network said. The previous record was 8.9 million households on Christmas Day 1994 for a game between Detroit and Miami.

ESPN’s second Monday night game, San Diego’s 27-0 win over Oakland, received a rating of 8.5 and was seen in an average of 7.87 million households.

Through two weeks of its new deal with the NFL, ESPN is averaging a 9.7 rating and viewership in 8.99 million homes.

During ESPN’s final season of Sunday night telecasts, the network averaged an 8.8 rating and 7.89 million homes.



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