ESPN’s Monday Night Football Delivers More than 12.4 Million Viewers, Driving 9% Year-Over-Year Audience Growth


ESPN’s Monday Night Football Delivers More than 12.4 Million Viewers, Driving 9% Year-Over-Year Audience Growth

  • MNF Up Year-Over-Year for Fourth Consecutive Week
  • Most-Watched Browns MNF Game in ESPN Era
  • Audience Grew Through Dramatic Fourth Quarter

ESPN’s Monday Night Football delivered an audience of 12,422, 000 driving the franchise to significant year-over-year growth as fans were captivated by the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns (8 p.m. ET) high scoring, back-and-forth fourth quarter drama. The viewership was up 9% from last year’s MNF Week 14 game (New York Giants-Philadelphia), the fourth consecutive week MNF has delivered year-over-year growth.

Cleveland Rocks!
The audience of more than 12.4 million viewers is the largest for a Cleveland Browns Monday Night Football appearance in the ESPN era (eight games since 2006), topping the previous high of 12.2 million for New York Jets-Browns game last season (Sept.16, 2019). Locally, Cleveland delivered a 39.3 market rating across ESPN and affiliate WKYC, the market’s second best for a MNF game in the same era. The aforementioned Jets game delivered a 40.4 in the market.

Most-Watched Program, Network on Monday Night
Monday Night Football was Monday’s most-watched program on television (broadcast and cable) and also drove ESPN to be the most-watched network in primetime (8-11p.m.) among all key demos M18-34, M18-49, M25-54, P18-34, P18-49, P25-54, and P55.

Additional Highlights

  • ESPN’s audience continued to grow through the fourth quarter, as the Browns and Ravens traded leads. Nearly 13 million people were watching when reigning MVP Lamar Jackson threw a 44-yard touchdown strike on 4th and 5, and the audience jumped to over 13.4 million for the Browns’ go-ahead score and Justin Tucker’s ensuing game-winning kick. A breakdown of the final three quarter hours:
Time (ET) Audience
11-11:15 p.m. 12,765,000
11:15-11:30 p.m. 12,912,000
11:30-11:45 p.m. 13,430,000


  • The state of Ohio made up three of the five highest-rated local markets, with Columbus ranking third and Cincinnati registering in fifth, joining Cleveland. Pittsburgh was also in the top five, with AFC-leading Kansas City coming in sixth, as fans from the top contenders in the AFC watched intently. The top 10 available markets:
Rank Market Local Rating
1 Cleveland 39.3*
2 Baltimore 29.6*
3 Columbus 16.3
4 Pittsburgh 13.2
5 Cincinnati 11.7
6 Kansas City 11.4
7 San Diego 10.9
8 Nashville 10.8
9 Seattle 10.6
Washington, D.C. 10.6

*Includes ESPN and OTA affiliate 

Pittsburgh-Cincinnati Monday Night Football Matchup Features Postseason Implications
ESPN’s Monday Night Football continues with Pittsburgh at Cincinnati (Dec. 21), as the Steelers remain in contention for the top seed in the AFC Playoffs. With a win against the Bengals, Pittsburgh will clinch the AFC North. Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Louis Riddick, Lisa Salters and John Parry have the call.

Please note: 2020 Nielsen numbers now include out-of-home reporting and all comparisons are day after to day after, which includes a portion of the overall streaming audience. More metrics are available in the subsequent days following an event. Currently, full streaming audience not available for Week 14.


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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