ESPN’s Monday Night Football 2020 Viewership on Pace with Last Season


ESPN’s Monday Night Football 2020 Viewership on Pace with Last Season

  • Franchise is Averaging 11.245 Million Viewers Per Game
  • Chargers-Saints Garners Audience of 10.694 Million; Wins the Night Across All Television
  • MNF was Highest-Rated Sporting Event in  Los Angeles and San Diego on Monday

Five weeks into the 2020 NFL Season, ESPN’s Monday Night Football viewership remains on pace with last season’s audience.  Through six games, ESPN is averaging 11,245,000 viewers per game, compared to the 2019 season, which averaged 11,267,000 viewers at the same point. Once full streaming audience is available later this week, ESPN expects to be up year-over-year, based on viewership data and trends through the first four weeks.

ESPN’s 2020 season-to-date viewership includes the 10,694,000 viewers for Chargers-Saints (8 p.m. ET), which was the most-watched telecast on Monday, Oct. 12, and ESPN was the most-watched network in primetime (broadcast or cable) among households, viewers and all key demos (M18-34, M18-49, M25-54, M55+, P18-34, P18-49, P25-54 and P55+). The viewership fell just shy of last year’s Week 5 matchup between Cleveland and San Francisco (11,125,000 viewers).

Additional Chargers-Saints Highlights:

  • Audiences Peaks in First Half, Holds Strong in Second: The Chargers-Saints audience peaked late in the first half at 11,836,000 viewers (9:15-9:30 p.m.), as the Chargers extended their lead to 17 points (20-3). In the second half, ESPN held an audience of more than 11 million for five of six full quarter-hours (starting 10-10:15 p.m. and continuing to 11:15-11:30 p.m.).
  • San Diego and Los Angeles: Despite competition, MNF was the highest-rated sporting event locally in both San Diego and Los Angeles on Monday, with San Diego earning a 14.0 and Los Angeles an 8.9 local rating. Of the 44 markets currently available, San Diego is the top rated market and LA is tied for fifth. The additional 12 markets, including New Orleans, will be available in the next 24 hours.

Top Markets Available

Rank Market Local Rating
1 San Diego 14.0
2 Seattle-Tacoma 11.4
3 Denver 10.3
4 Portland 9.1
5 Los Angeles 8.9*
Nashville 8.9
7 Baltimore 8.7
Sacramento 8.7
9 Pittsburgh 8.5
San Francisco 8.5

*Includes ESPN and local affiliate (KABC) rating

Monday Night Football Continues with Arizona at Dallas, Featuring a Homecoming for Kyler Murray and Andy Dalton’s First Cowboys Start
ESPN’s Monday Night Football continues with the Arizona Cardinals at Dallas Cowboys (8 p.m.) in Week 6 (Monday, Oct. 19). Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray will make his MNF debut in his home state, as the Texas native returns to AT&T Stadium where he won a Big 12 Championship with the Oklahoma Sooners during his Heisman Trophy campaign, as well as three 6A Division I Texas State Championships with Allen HS. Longtime Cincinnati quarterback and three-time Pro Bowler Andy Dalton will be making his first start for the Cowboys.

Please note: 2020 Nielsen numbers now includes out-of-home reporting.


Media contact: Derek Volner at 860-384-9986; [email protected] and @DerekVolner

Derek Volner

I currently lead ESPN’s NFL Communications, including Monday Night Football, NFL Draft and studio programming. Previously, I did the same for ESPN’s vast college football portfolio. I have been with ESPN since 2013.
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