Chiefs-Rams on ESPN Delivers 16.7 Million Viewers – Monday Night Football’s Best Audience Since December 2016


Chiefs-Rams on ESPN Delivers 16.7 Million Viewers – Monday Night Football’s Best Audience Since December 2016

ESPN’s NFL Programming

Chiefs-Rams Photos via ESPN Images

  • Viewership up 53 percent vs. week 11 in 2017
  • Game rating peaked with 18.9 million viewers in the game’s final minutes
  • MNF is No. 1 show again as ESPN wins the night for 11th straight Monday
  • 2018 MNF viewership up nine percent season-to-date 

Last night’s Monday Night Football game (8:15 p.m.-12 a.m. ET) – a thrilling Los Angeles Rams’ 54-51 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs – averaged 16.7 million viewers across ESPN, ESPNEWS and ESPN Deportes, according to Nielsen. It is the largest MNF audience since December 2016 (18.6 million, Lions-Cowboys) and ESPN’s most-viewed telecast since the College Football Playoff National Championship Game on January 8.

Viewership for Chiefs-Rams is up 53 percent vs. last year’s Atlanta-Seattle game in week 11, which averaged 10.9 million viewers across the ESPN networks.

The MNF game was the most-watched telecast of the night among households, viewers and all key male and adult demos (18-34, 18-49, 25-54), and ESPN won the night again among all networks, broadcast or cable, in those same categories. Through 11 weeks of the NFL season (12 games), MNF has helped ESPN win the night all 11 Mondays.

Through 12 games, Monday Night Football is averaging 11.9 million viewers, a nine percent increase year-over-year (vs. 10.9 million) – and up 10 percent from last year’s full season average (10.8 million).

  • On ESPN, Chiefs-Rams averaged a 9.7 US household rating and 16.6 million viewers – an increase of 54 percent compared to 10.8 million viewers in week 11 last year. The telecast peaked on the final drive from 11:45 p.m. – 12 a.m. ET as Patrick Mahomes attempted to lead the Chiefs down the field with an 11.1 US household rating and 18.9 million viewers.
  • On ESPN Deportes and ESPNEWS (Spanish-language simulcast), Chiefs-Rams averaged an additional 173,000 viewers, the highest audience on ESPN Deportes so far this season

Originally scheduled to be played in Mexico City as part of the 2018 NFL International Series, the Chiefs-Rams game was moved on Nov. 13 to the Los Angeles Coliseum. Last night’s game was the first MNF game played in Los Angeles in 33 years (October 28, 1985). The Chiefs and Rams combined for 105 points, the highest scoring game in MNF’s 49-year history.

Local markets:

  • In Kansas City, the game delivered a 16.6 rating on ESPN and a 36.2 rating on KMBC-ABC, for a combined 52.8 rating in the market.
  • In Los Angeles, the game delivered a 10.4 rating on ESPN – the highest rating in the market since 2016 – and a 9.2 on KABC-ABC, for a combined 19.6 rating in the market.

Top 10 markets:

The top 10 metered markets (not including those of the competing teams): New Orleans (21.4), San Diego (16.2), Denver (15.7), Seattle-Tacoma (15.5), Phoenix (14.4), Albuquerque-Santa Fe (14.3), Richmond, Va.    (14.0), Minneapolis-St. Paul (13.8), Washington, D.C. (13.8), and Las Vegas (13.7).

Video of top moments from last night’s telecast.

Postgame SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt – Up 29 Percent

Last night’s postgame edition of SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt averaged 3,678,000 viewers, an increase of 29 percent vs. last year’s comparable show (2,847,000).

Week 12 on ESPN’s MNF: AFC South Showdown – Titans vs. Texans

Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans visit the division-leading Houston Texans, led by quarterback Deshaun Watson, in a matchup of top teams in the AFC South.


Bill Hofheimer

I oversee ESPN’s College Sports PR, while also working on ESPN soccer, Around the Horn, PTI and more. Previously oversaw communications for ESPN's Monday Night Football and NFL studio shows.
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