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AFC West Sags on MNF

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ESPN on Monday night slogged through an unpromising AFC East matchup, as a meeting between the (3-6) Denver Broncos and (4-5) San Diego Chargers drew 11.7 million viewers.

While still respectable, this week’s Monday Night Football broadcast delivered ESPN’s second-lowest turnout of the 2010-11 NFL campaign, per Nielsen. Only the Oct. 18 Titans-Jaguars game fared worse—that 20-2 blowout was viewed by a mere 9.67 million viewers.

Through week 11 (12 games), ESPN is averaging 14.3 million viewers for Monday Night Football, up 2 percent from the year-ago delivery (14 million).

MNF is powering another fourth-quarter ratings win for ESPN, which is on course to sweep the demos in the period for the fifth consecutive year. In the week ended Nov. 21, the sports net averaged 3.68 million total viewers in prime, of which slightly more than half (1.89 million) were members of the 18-49 demo.

Last week’s numbers were boosted by a much more compelling MNF draw (Eagles-Redskins). Despite the ‘Skins 59-21 drubbing of their NFC East foes, 15 million viewers tuned in on Nov. 15 to watch the Michael Vick show.

The once-disgraced Eagles quarterback played a game for the ages, completing 20 of his 28 passes for 333 yards and four touchdowns, and adding 80 yards and a TD of his own on the ground.