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    "Monday Night Football" Ratings Down

    NEW YORK Green Bay's win over Carolina in the first game of the season on ABC's "Monday Night Football," was the second-most watched prime-time show of the week, trailing only NBC's debut episode of the "Friends" spinoff "Joey."

    The game had a rating of 12.5 with a 21 share, the lowest for a season opener on "Monday Night Football" since at least 1994, but still the highest-rated television show of the night. Last year's opener had a rating of 13.3.

    The 17 telecasts last season averaged an 11.5 rating with a 19 share, and it was the first time since 1994 that the average rating had not declined.

    A ratings point represents 1,096,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation's estimated 109.6 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

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    Re: "Monday Night Football" Ratings Down

    I just have never been convinced that moving kickoff to 8p est wouldn't get them a larger share. I think most people prefer to start something they can finish and for those who work the traditional hours I suspect they see no point in getting engaged in an event they won't stay up to see the end of if they have to get up early to work. The network wouldn't really be giving up anything by replacing the 8 pm programming because, contrary to popular myth, only dead air is being broadcast then anyway.

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