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Tuesday, September 12, 2006
ESPN gets highest rating ever for Vikings-Redskins

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- ESPN's first regular-season Monday night NFL game under the new contract drew the cable network's biggest audience ever.

The game between the Minnesota Vikings and Washington Redskins, won 19-16 by Minnesota, 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.

The first game began at 7 p.m. EDT and the second started at 10:15.

An estimated 22.6 million viewers watched Peyton Manning's Indianapolis Colts beat younger brother Eli's New York Giants in NBC's prime-time game on Sunday night.