Pats-Saints hits near-record viewership

The Patriots-Saints "Monday Night Football" game on ESPN was the second-most-watched cable program of all time in households and viewers, earning a 15.0 ranking, which represents 14,872,000 households (about 21,402,000 viewers). It was ESPN’s second-highest rating in the network’s 30-year history.

The game finished just shy of ESPN’s "Monday Night Football" telecast Oct. 5 featuring Brett Favre facing his former team (Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings), which set cable records for households (15,136,000) and viewers (21,839,000), based on an ESPN-record 15.3 rating.

Monday’s game delivered a combined 35.0 rating in Boston (13.1 on ESPN and 21.9 on WCVB-ABC), and a combined 66.7 rating in New Orleans (23.3 on ESPN and 43.4 on WDSU-NBC). The New Orleans rating is the highest combined local rating for "Monday Night Football" this year, surpassing the 63.9 in New Orleans for the Falcons-Saints game Nov. 2.