Monday Night Football Delivers another Record-Shattering Viewership, as More than 19.3 Million Viewers Watch Cowboys-Giants

ESPN’s Monday Night Football has shattered multiple records three weeks into the 2022 season and aired two of its four most-watched Monday games in its 17 year history airing the television franchise (more than 270 games).

Monday Night Football’s Dallas Cowboys-New York Giants presentation (September 26, 8:15 p.m.) generated 19,342,000 viewers (ESPN, ABC, ESPN2, ESPN+ and ESPN Deportes), MNF’s best Week 3 audience in the ESPN era (2006 – present) and the fourth best Monday game in the same era. The audience of more than 19.3 million viewers bested ESPN’s previous MNF Week 3 audience high by 11% (17.5 million viewers for Green Bay at Chicago, Sept. 27, 2010). Year-over-year, the Cowboys-Giants audience is up 29% from Week 3 in 2021, which also featured the Cowboys, then hosting the Eagles (15 million viewers on ESPN and ESPN2).

Monday Night Football is Re-Writing the Record Books
The record-setting Monday Night Football Week 3 audience follows its own record-setting Week 1 audience, when 19.85 million viewers for Denver-Seattle drove MNF to its most-watched season opener in network history. That same game is third most-watched Monday game in ESPN’s MNF era.

Factoring in all regular season games of ESPN’s current age of NFL rights (2006 – present), MNF has delivered its fourth and fifth most-watched games of the current rights period this season, as one Saturday game also makes the Top 5.

Rank Date Game Viewership
1 Monday, Oct. 5, 2009 Green Bay at Minnesota 21,839,000
2 Monday, Nov. 30, 2009 New Orleans at New England 21,402,000
3 Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022 Dallas at Philadelphia 20,195,000
4 Monday, Sept. 12, 2022 Denver at Seattle 19,845,000
5 Monday, Sept. 26, 2022 Dallas at New York Giants 19,342,000


Surging With Over 20 Million Viewers
In Week 2, the first of its kind ‘two games, one night’ averaged nearly 21 million viewers during the two hours of overlapping action. As a result, Monday Night Football action has peaked with more than 20 million viewers in each of the first three weeks, the first time that feat has been accomplished in Weeks 1-3 during the ESPN era.

Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli Adds to its Most-Watched Alternate Telecast List
In Week 3, Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli drew 1.4 million viewers (ESPN2 and ESPN+), further bolstering the show’s status as ESPN’s most-watched alternate telecast. Through the first two editions this season, the show is averaging 1.46 million viewers, up 15% from the show’s first two episodes last year (Weeks 1 and 2). MNF with Peyton and Eli now holds the ESPN record for the 11 most-watched alternate telecasts.

Additional highlights

Monday Night Football Week 4: NFC Championship Rematch – Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers
Monday Night Football will feature an NFC Championship rematch in Week 4, as the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers (October 3, 8 p.m.) face off from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Lisa Salters will have the call on ESPN with Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli returning to ESPN2.

Viewership reported by Nielsen includes streaming audience across ESPN/Disney and NFL digital properties.