Making good on its pricey NFL purchase, ESPN's "Monday Night Football" first regular season game between the Minnesota Vikings and Washington Redskins pulled in a bone-crushing Nielsen Media Research
9.9 rating--the network's biggest audience ever. The show grabbed 12.6 million viewers. It was the second-largest audience in terms of households in cable history, with 9.1 million homes. The biggest
for cable was in 1993, CNN's NAFTA debate between Al Gore and Ross Perot, which pulled in 11.2 million households.