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The Collective
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
By Dr. Steven Taylor

On Sunday evening I wondered if ABC was on The Path to Mediocre Ratings by airing the Path to 9/11 opposite the Manning Bowl.

USAT provides the rather unsurprising answer: NFL tops ABC’s edited 9/11 miniseries

The movie was beaten soundly in the ratings by the regular-season debut of NBC’s Sunday Night Football, matching Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts against younger brother Eli of the New York Giants. The National Football League game had an estimated 20.7 million viewers, while The Path to 9/11 had 13 million, according to Nielsen Media Research. The ABC movie did, however, beat CBS’ third airing of a 9/11 documentary, which was seen by an estimated 10.6 million people, Nielsen said.

Indeed, I also wondering if President Bush’s speech to the nation on 9/11 would get much attention, given it was up against an MNF double-header.  Indeed, there were a lot of eyballs on ESPN that night:

ESPN drew 8.2% of U.S. TV households, translating to the broadcast network equivalent of an 8.4 national rating, for Minnesota Vikings-Washington Redskins. That doesn’t include ratings on over-the-air stations in the teams’ home markets.

ESPN’s 9.2 million households made it the second-biggest audience for a cable show ever, trailing only the 11.2 million households drawn to the never-to-be-forgotten Ross Perot-Al Gore faceoff over NAFTA on Larry King Live in 1993.

ESPN then got 7.1% — again, not counting home-market TV — for the San Diego Chargers shutting out the Oakland Raiders.

ESPN’s action in the 8-11 ET hours averaged 10.5 million households. Meaning, ESPN — yes, the ESPN where you’ve ogled Swedish strongmen hauling cars — was America’s most-watched prime-time channel. (In second: ABC with its Path to 9/11 drama.)

I don’t have numbers on how many saw the president, however.

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Filed under: Pop Culture, Sports, The NFL, US Politics | |


  1. Might be interesting to see the local numbers in the DC metropolitan area Monday night, considering the region’s two passions (politics and the Redskins) were at odd.

    Comment by pennywit — Wednesday, September 13, 2006 @ 12:56 pm

  2. Alabama Bloggers Roundup…

    If I did not highlight your blog specifically, choose a post from your blog for me to post, edit it to add a link to this post, and then send a TrackBack. As soon as I get it, I will edit the post with your highlighted post.

    Dan is asking what happene…

    Trackback by Politics In Alabama — Wednesday, September 13, 2006 @ 2:08 pm

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