ESPN has televised the Top 20 most-viewed programs in cable TV history

ESPN was the most-watched cable network in primetime in 2014. The network followed up that milestone with its most-viewed week ever (Monday, Dec. 29, 2014 – Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015), while televising the Top 3, and four of the Top 9, most-watched programs in cable history, according to Nielsen, over the past 11 days. With last night’s Oregon-Ohio State College Football Playoff National Championship setting a new cable viewership record, ESPN telecasts now claim every spot in cable’s all-time Top 20 (chart below). The photo gallery above highlights some of the memorable college football and NFL games on the list.

 Top 20 Most-Viewed Programs in Cable Television (Viewers)
Rank Date Program Network Viewers (000s)
1 1/12/15 CFB/National Championship: Oregon-Ohio State^ ESPN 33,395
2 1/1/15 CFB/Sugar Bowl: Alabama-Ohio St. ^^ ESPN 28,271
3 1/1/15 CFB/Rose Bowl: Oregon-Florida St. ^^ ESPN 28,164
4 1/10/11 CFB/BCS Champ: Oregon-Auburn ESPN 27,316
5 1/7/13 CFB/BCS Champ: Alabama-Notre Dame ESPN 26,380
6 1/6/14 CFB/BCS Champ: Florida St.-Auburn ESPN 25,572
7 1/9/12 CFB/BCS Champ: Alabama-LSU ESPN 24,214
8 10/5/09 NFL MNF: Green Bay-Minnesota ESPN 21,839
9 1/3/15 NFL Wild Card: Arizona-Carolina^^^ ESPN 21,678
10 11/30/09 NFL MNF: New England-New Orleans ESPN 21,402
11 1/1/11 CFB/Rose Bowl: TCU-Wisconsin ESPN 20,558
12 12/27/10 NFL MNF: New Orleans-Atlanta ESPN 19,137
13 10/27/14 NFL MNF: Washington-Dallas ESPN 18,809
14 1/1/14 CFB/Rose Bowl: Stanford-Michigan State ESPN 18,636
15 9/15/08 NFL MNF: Philadelphia-Dallas ESPN 18,608
16 10/25/10 NFL MNF: NY Giants-Dallas ESPN 17,953
17 1/2/12 CFB/Rose Bowl: Wisconsin-Oregon ESPN 17,558
18 12/3/07 NFL MNF: New England-Baltimore ESPN 17,522
19 9/27/10 NFL MNF: Green Bay-Chicago ESPN 17,454
20 10/11/10 NFL MNF: Minnesota-NY Jets ESPN 17,313
^ = College Football Playoff National Championship
^^ = College Football Playoff Semifinal
^^^ = NFL Playoffs

Bill Hofheimer contributed to this post

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