ESPN’s Monday Night Football Rams-Cardinals Matchup Captures 15.9 Million Viewers; Second Best MNF Audience in 28 Games

NFL

ESPN’s Monday Night Football Rams-Cardinals Matchup Captures 15.9 Million Viewers; Second Best MNF Audience in 28 Games

  • Best MNF Week 14 Audience Since 2013; Up 23% from 2020, 35% from 2019
  • Season-to-Date: Monday Night Football Continuing Strong Year, Outpacing Both 2020 and 2019 Viewership Figures

ESPN’s Monday Night Football Week 14 matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and the Arizona Cardinals (Dec. 13, 8 p.m. ET) delivered 15.9 million viewers (ESPN, ABC, ESPN Deportes), as the franchise continues to drive a successful 2021 campaign. The 15,895,000 viewers on ESPN and ABC represent MNF’s best audience since the season opener this season (Baltimore at Las Vegas) and its second best audience in 28 games, dating back to Week 2 of the 2020 season (New Orleans at Las Vegas).

Narrowing in on Week 14, this season’s substantial audience is Monday Night Football’s best Week 14 audience since 2013 (Dallas at Chicago) and the second best in the ESPN era (2006 – present). The audience represents an increase of 23% and 35% from 2020 (Baltimore-Cleveland) and 2019 (New York Giants-Philadelphia), respectively.

Similar to Week 14, Monday Night Football aired nationally on both ESPN and ABC twice in December of 2020, and this season’s Rams-Cardinals game topped both of those audiences. In 2020, Buffalo at San Francisco (Dec. 7) registered 14,530,000 viewers and Buffalo at New England (Dec. 28) 14,753,000 viewers.

Viewership reported by Nielsen for ESPN includes streaming audience across some ESPN and all NFL and Yahoo Sports properties; audience figures for ESPN+ are not included the audience reporting.

Season-to-Date: Monday Night Football Up Double-Digits from 2020
In back-to-back weeks, ESPN’s Monday Night Football has delivered two of its three largest audiences, coming off Week 13’s New England-Buffalo (Dec. 6) matchup which delivered 15 million viewers.  Now, the franchise is averaging 13,389,000 viewers season-to-date, up 11% from 2020 and 6% from 2019.

Please note: ESPN Deportes is not included in season-to-date averages

Additional Rams-Cardinals Superlatives:

  • Monday Night Football was the most-watched telecast of the night among key demos: Men 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54 as well as persons 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54 on ESPN.
    • Monday Night Football was the most-watched telecast of the night among M55+ on ABC
  • Monday Night Football also helped ESPN become the most-watched network (broadcast and cable) in primetime among viewers and the same key male and people demos.
    • Monday Night Football also helped ABC become the most-watched network (broadcast and cable) in primetime among households,  men 55+ and  persons 55+

Monday Night Football Continues with Minnesota Vikings Deep in the Playoff Hunt, Traveling to Chicago
Monday Night Football will present a pivotal matchup for the Minnesota Vikings, as they travel to their NFC North division rival Chicago Bears (Dec. 20, 8 p.m. The Vikings enter Week 15 squarely in the NFC Playoff hunt, with an identical record (6-7) to four other NFC teams. Rookie quarterback Justin Fields and the Bears will appear on MNF for a second time this season, previously traveling to Pittsburgh. Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Louis Riddick, Lisa Salters and John Parry will be Soldier Field.

ESPN’s Presentation of Monday Night Football: Doubleheader Saturday in Week 18 Set to Debut
More details were just announced surrounding Monday Night Football: Doubleheader Saturday (Jan. 8, 4:30 and 8:15 p.m.), a conclusion to the network’s coverage of the biggest season ever and a launch into its new Monday night NFL Super Wild Card presentation on Jan. 17 (8:15 p.m.).

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

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers win over Buffalo Bills: Look back at Brady’s touchdown pass to Perriman
  • Dallas Cowboys win over Washington Football Team: Centers on Micah Parson’s strip-sack touchdown
  • San Francisco 49ers win over Cincinnati Bengals: Features two third downs in overtime – a sack by the 49ers defense and a conversion by George Kittle

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

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Contact: Derek Volner ([email protected])

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Derek Volner

I work in college sports, which includes football and basketball, with an emphasis on Olympic Sports. Additionally, I handle ESPN’s coverage of high school athletics and recruiting.
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