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Cowboys’ ‘Monday Night Football’ Win Is Most-Watched in More Than 2 Years

ESPN regular season finale scores best TV rating since Dallas hosted Washington in October 2014

Everyone is panicked about NFL TV ratings until the Dallas Cowboys come to town.

This week’s “Monday Night Football” scored the most total viewers and top rating for the ESPN franchise since the same squad hosted the Washington Redskins back on October 27, 2014. This time around, Dallas defeated the Detroit Lions 42-21.

The “MNF” season finale’s total live audience — which includes streaming viewers — was up 18 percent from last year’s version, which saw the Cincinnati Bengals visit the eventual Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos. It’s worth reminding readers that streaming tune-in naturally grows along with continued technology development and adoption, of course — but regular TV still makes up the vast majority of screen selection.

Detroit-Dallas delivered an overall audience of 18.964 million average viewers and a 10.1 U.S. household rating. Of those tuning in, 18.705 million watched on TV, counting ESPN and ESPN Deportes.

The hot NFC contest handed pregame show “Monday Night Countdown” its best regular season edition since December 19, 2011.

This 2016 National Football League regular season’s previous “Monday Night Football” high-water mark came from the Week 4 New York Giants-Minnesota Vikings game.

In Detroit, this game delivered an 11.2 rating on ESPN and an 18.3 on WXYZ-ABC, for a combined 29.5 rating in the market. Detroit’s 11.2 rating on ESPN is the highest rating in that market for a regular season ‘MNF’ game since Patriots-Saints delivered an 11.4 on November 30, 2009.

In Dallas-Fort Worth, the game delivered an 8.9 rating on ESPN and a 26.0 on WFAA-ABC for a combined 34.9 rating in the market.

The Top 10 metered markets (not including those of the competing teams) were: San Antonio (23.7), Austin (19.4), Norfolk (17.0), Memphis (16.5), Albuquerque-Santa Fe (16.3), Houston (15.6), Richmond-Petersburg (15.5), Las Vegas (14.4), Milwaukee (13.9) and Oklahoma City (13.7).