The highest-rated Monday Night Football telecast on ABC was the Miami Dolphins' victory over the previously-undefeated Chicago Bears on December 2, 1985, which drew a national Nielsen rating of 29.6 and a share of 46. ABC's lowest-rated MNF game was the St. Louis Rams' defeat of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on October 18, 2004, which drew a 7.7 rating.
The highest-rated MNF game on ESPN, and the highest-rated program in U.S. cable television history to date, was the Minnesota Vikings' defeat of the Green Bay Packers 30Ė23 on October 5, 2009, with a rating of 15.3. The game featured the much-hyped matchup of Vikings quarterback Brett Favre facing his longtime former Green Bay team. ESPN noted in a press release that the telecast "was watched by more than 21.8 million people. The previous record was more than 18.6 million viewers for 2008's Monday night game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys. ESPN also stated that the game drew the highest rating in the network's 30-year history. The 15.3 rating beat the 14.4 for a Bears-Vikings game on Dec. 6, 1987, during ESPN's first season of televising NFL games".  ESPN's lowest-rated MNF game to date was the New York Giants' defeat of the Atlanta Falcons on October 15, 2007, which drew a 5.7 rating.
ESPN's third season of Monday Night Football was the most-watched series on cable television in 2008. It set an all-time cable viewership record for the third straight year and drew the year's three biggest cable household audiences and 13 of the top 15. In three seasons on ESPN, Monday Night Football has registered seven of the top 10 all-time biggest household audiences in cable history, led by the Eagles-Cowboys telecast on 9/15/08, which attracted cable's largest household audience ever (an average of 12,953,000 million homes).
ESPN's 17 MNF telecasts in 2008 averaged a 8.9 rating, representing an average of 8,679,000 households (11,962,000 viewers), increases of 3%, 5% and 7%, respectively, vs. 2007 (8.6; 8,277,000 and 11,230,000).