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ESPN football earns record ratings

Game drew a total of 17.5 million viewers

More people watched the New England Patriots squeeze past the Baltimore Ravens on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” than viewed any other program in the history of cable TV.

Game drew a total aud of 17.5 million viewers, besting the previous record of 17.2 million set in August by Disney Channel’s “High School Musical 2.”

The Patriots are undefeated and could end up as the second NFL team ever to go through an entire season without a loss (the Miami Dolphins did it in 1972).

ESPN’s Monday cablecast of the Patriots-Ravens bout finished first for the night among programs on all broadcast and cable nets in total viewers and in all of the key adult demographics.

Eleven of the 12 most-watched shows on cable TV in 2007 are “Monday Night Football” games on ESPN. In November, the cabler parlayed “MNF” into a victory for the entire month in primetime, winding up a strong No. 1 among all ad-supported cable nets in total viewers, adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and adults 18-34.

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