I really didn't think anything could top High School Musical 2 other than High School Musical 3, but I was wrong. It took the mighty Patriots, but this past Monday Night's contest beat out the Disney TV Movie by 300,000 people according to SBD via SbB....
ESPN drew 17.5 million viewers for Monday night's Patriots-Ravens game, surpassing Disney Channel's telecast of "High School Musical 2" in August, which drew 17.2 million viewers, as cable's biggest-ever audience. The game drew a 13.0 cable Nielsen rating, up 51.2% from an 8.6 for the comparable Panthers-Eagles game last year. Pats-Ravens also set a record by averaging 12.529 million homes. The most-viewed "MNF" game last year was Giants-Cowboys on October 23, which averaged 11.807 million homes.Say what you will about the broadcast team, the guests, and all of the nonsense that goes into each broadcast, but people are watching the program in record numbers. This obviously will only encourage them to keep the current team and cheesy interviews, but hey I can always use content.
Via ESPN: [MNF's] 14 NFL games account for 11 of the top 12 most-watched shows on basic cable in 2007 among households: the first-, second-, third-, fourth-, sixth-, seventh-, eighth-, ninth-, 10th-, 11th-, 12th-, 15th-, 16th-, and 17th-most watched.
Patriots-Ravens Game Largest Cable TV Audience In History (Sports by Brooks)