ESPN’s Monday Night Football Scores Its Most-Viewed NFL Regular Season Since 2015

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ESPN’s Monday Night Football Scores Its Most-Viewed NFL Regular Season Since 2015

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  • MNF Averages 12,569,000 Viewers in 2019 – Up Eight Percent for the Second Straight Year
  • MNF is Cable’s Most-Watched Series for the Third Consecutive Year
  • ESPN Deportes Records Its Most-Watched MNF Season

ESPN’s Monday Night Football scored its most-viewed regular season since 2015, finishing the 17-game NFL schedule in 2019 with 12,569,000 viewers – up eight percent year-over-year (11,654,000 in 2018). MNF has now posted consecutive seasons with eight percent viewership gains and is up an impressive 17 percent overall versus 2017 (10,788,000). MNF also ranks as cable’s most-watched series for the third straight year.

The Spanish-language presentation of MNF on ESPN Deportes recorded its most-watched MNF season ever in 2019, averaging 102,000 viewers, a 21 percent increase over 2018 (84,000). ESPN Deportes’ Cowboys-Giants telecast on Nov. 4 averaged 165,000 viewers, the network’s second most-watched MNF game ever.

Monday Night Countdown, ESPN’s weekly MNF pregame show, averaged 1,423,000 viewers in 2019, a 13 percent increase from 2018.

2019 MNF Season Highlights:

  • ESPN’s most-watched MNF season since 2015
  • MNF is the most-watched series on cable for the third straight year.
  • MNF accounted for 16 of the top 20 most-watched telecasts on cable in 2019 (Live + Same Day, excluding telecasts less than 15 minutes).
  • MNF was the most-watched telecast on all 16 Mondays in households, viewers and all key male and adult demos.
  • MNF helped ESPN win the night all 16 Mondays this season among all networks in households, viewers and all key male and adult demos (18-34, 18-49, 25-54).
  • MNF’s most-watched game of the season was Seahawks-49ers on Nov. 11 with 16,734,000 viewers – the most-watched MNF game since Lions-Cowboys in Dec. 2016.
  • MNF’s top-10 metered markets in 2019: New Orleans (15.8), San Diego (11.5), Richmond (10.7), Las Vegas (10.5), Denver (10.5), Buffalo (10.4), Seattle-Tacoma (10.3), Kansas City (10.3), Albuquerque (10.1) and Cleveland (9.9).
  • ESPN’s MNF debuted a new commentator team in 2019, featuring Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland in the booth with NFL officiating analyst John Parry and reporter Lisa Salters.

Packers-Vikings Season Finale Draws 13,657,000 Million Viewers – Up 55 Percent

ESPN’s 2019 Monday Night Football regular-season finale – a Green Bay Packers’ 23-10 victory over the Minnesota Vikings (on Dec. 23) – averaged 13,657,000 viewers on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, according to Nielsen – a 55 percent increase over MNF’s 2018 finale (8,789,000 viewers, Broncos-Raiders).

Packers-Vikings helped ESPN win the night among all networks, broadcast or cable, in households, viewers and key male and adult demos (18-34, 18-49 and 25-54). MNF was also the highest-rated telecast of the night across all broadcast and cable networks among the same demos.

On ESPN, Packers-Vikings averaged 13,566,000 viewers, an increase of 56 percent vs. Week 16 last year. The audience peaked from 9:30-9:45 p.m. ET with 15,046,000 viewers. ESPN Deportes added 91,000 viewers, an increase of nine percent vs. Week 16 last year.

In Milwaukee/Green Bay, the game delivered a 16.4 rating on ESPN and a 31.7 on WLUK-FOX and WISN-ABC for a combined 48.1 rating. In Minneapolis-St. Paul, the game delivered a 12.8 rating on ESPN and 31.9 on WCCO-CBS for a combined 44.7 rating.

ESPN’s MNF Team to Call an NFL Wild Card Playoff Game and the 2020 Pro Bowl:

ESPN’s MNF team will call an NFL Wild Card playoff game (January 4 or 5, 2020), as well as the 2020 Pro Bowl in Orlando (January 26).

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Bill Hofheimer

I oversee ESPN’s pro football PR, including Monday Night Football and NFL studio shows. Other programs I work on include ESPN soccer, Around the Horn and PTI.
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