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With ‘Monday Night Football’ And MLB Playoffs, A Ratings Challenge For The Final Debate

The first two Presidential debates were ratings juggernauts, utterly dominating the TV landscape the nights they aired (it helps that it was on nearly a dozen channels). Tonight is the third and final Presidential debate, but while the anticipation may be high, the competition for eyeballs will be fierce.

Two big sporting events are on tap for tonight, “Monday Night Football” on ESPN, and game seven of the MLB National League Championship Game on Fox. The baseball game will result in one fewer broadcast network covering the debate, and fans of the Cardinals, Giants, Lions or Bears will have to choose between watching Obama and Romney spar yet again, or watching their favorite team take home an important win.

Brian Stelter writes in the NY Times that ESPN is trying to convince viewers that they don’t have to choose, they can watch both!

A pair of ads that started appearing on ESPN on Saturday promote the WatchESPN app, which allows subscribers of certain cable companies to watch ESPN on phones and computers at no additional charge.

“This debate will be settled on the gridiron,” one of the ads says, after referencing the verbal battle that will be taking place on a stage in Boca Raton, Fla. The ad concludes, “Don’t miss a minute of Monday Night Football on ESPN, the WatchESPN app and WatchESPN.com.”

 

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