ESPN’s Monday Night Football’s Week 9 Draws 12.2 Million Viewers; Up 18% Year-Over-Year and Delivers MNF’s Seventh Consecutive Week of Audience Growth


ESPN’s Monday Night Football’s Week 9 Draws 12.2 Million Viewers; Up 18% Year-Over-Year and Delivers MNF’s Seventh Consecutive Week of Audience Growth

  • Monday Night Football Continues its Best Start Since 2014; Up 17% Season-to-Date 
  • Up Eight of Nine Weeks; Double-Digit Growth in Five Weeks of 2021 Season

In NFL Week 9, ESPN’s Monday Night Football generated year-over-year audience growth for the seventh straight week and the eighth game in nine weeks this season, as more than 12.2 million viewers (ESPN and ESPN Deportes) watched the Chicago Bears at the Pittsburgh Steelers (Nov. 8, 8 p.m. ET). The ESPN-only audience of 12,103,000 was up 18% from Week 9 in 2020, the fifth week this season where Monday Night Football grew its audience more than 14%. The viewership also represents the second best MNF Week 9 audience since 2014.

Viewership reported by Nielsen for ESPN includes streaming audience across ESPN, NFL and Yahoo Sports properties.

Season-to-Date: Monday Night Football Up 17% from 2020 and 13% from 2019
Monday Night Football continues its most-watched season since 2014, averaging 13.5 million viewers per game through nine weeks. In addition to being up 17% over 2020 and 13% over 2019, the franchise is also up double digits compared to every season since 2015. Further details on the strong 2021 viewership for Monday Night Football and ESPN’s NFL studio shows was released earlier this week.

Note: ESPN Deportes is not included in the season-to-date averages.

Additional Highlights for Bears-Steelers:

  • Monday Night Football was the most-watched telecast of the night among households, viewers and all key demos: Men 18-34, 18-49, 25-54 and 55+, as well as persons 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54 on ESPN.
  • Monday Night Football also helped ESPN become the most-watched network (broadcast and cable) in primetime among households, viewers and the same key male and people demos, including P55+

Monday Night Football Continues with Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers; Peyton and Eli Return on ESPN2
Monday Night Football continues in Week 10 with the Los Angeles Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers (Nov. 15, 8 p.m.), as ESPN presents the traditional MNF telecast and ESPN2 carries Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli. The Rams (7-2) remain in strong contention for the NFC’s No. 1 seed, while the 49ers are looking to remain in the thick of the playoff hunt. Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Louis Riddick, Lisa Salters and John Parry will be live from Levi’s Stadium.

Rams-49ers will be the first of two consecutive Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli telecasts, adding the New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Nov. 22) to their schedule in Week 11.

NFL’s Turning Point on ESPN+
This week’s NFL Turning Point, which streams each Wednesday and breaks down pivotal moments from NFL Sundays that define the outcome of each game, features:

  • Baltimore Ravens win over Minnesota Vikings: Looks at the 18-play drive capped by Devin Duvernay’s one-handed touchdown off of a great throw by Lamar Jackson that tied the game.
  • Cleveland Browns win over Cincinnati Bengals: Denzel Ward’s pick-six and the Browns’ defense dominates to overcome OBJ drama along with Peoples-Jones’ 60-yard touchdown.
  • Tennessee Titans win over Los Angeles Rams: A look at the Titans’ back-to-back interceptions to open up their lead. The Titans’ defense shut down the Rams’ powerful offense thanks to pressure from Jeffrey Simmons and Denico Autry.

In addition to NFL Turning Point, ESPN+ also offers weekly episodes of NFL PrimeTime and The Fantasy Show.

Contact: Derek Volner ([email protected])


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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