ESPN Delivers Multi-Year Viewership Highs Across Sunday NFL Countdown, NFL Live and NFL Rewind in September, as ESPN’s NFL Portfolio Scores to Start the Season


ESPN Delivers Multi-Year Viewership Highs Across Sunday NFL Countdown, NFL Live and NFL Rewind in September, as ESPN’s NFL Portfolio Scores to Start the Season

  • NFL Live Earns Best September Viewership and Airs Most-Watched September Edition Since 2016
  • Sunday NFL Countdown Up Double Digits From Previous Two Septembers; Week 1 Viewership Ties as Best Season Premiere Since 2016
  • NFL Rewind Up; Monday Night Countdown Provides Strong Lead-In to Monday Night Football

For ESPN, September has delivered a litany of viewership successes across the network’s studio shows, joining Monday Night Football in a great start to the 2022 NFL season. Sunday NFL Countdown, NFL Live and NFL Rewind have achieved their best September viewership in multiple years and Monday Night Countdown has led into record-breaking audiences for Monday Night Football.

NFL Fans Begin Their Sundays on ESPN
Sunday NFL Countdown is averaging 1.4 million viewers per show (10 a.m. – 1 p.m. ET, weekly), up double digits from each of the first three shows of the previous two seasons, including a healthy 15% increase from 2021. Additionally, the show is up in multiple demos including up 10% in persons 18-49 and up 7% among female viewers.

The season premiere – Sunday, Sept. 11 – averaged 1.6 million viewers, which tied as best Week 1 audience since 2016 and was up 35% year-over-year. The strong week set the trend, as each individual week the show is up compared to the same week’s show in 2021 (2022 Week 1 vs. 2021 Week 1, ’22 Week 2 vs. ’21 Week 2, and ’22 Week 3 vs. ’21 Week 3).

NFL Live’s Viewership Success Continues On
NFL Live earned its highest September viewership since 2016, averaging 428,000 viewers per edition (13 episodes), as the daily news, analysis and information show (4-5 p.m.) continued its torrid viewership momentum from the 2021 season.

NFL Live’s most-watched show came on Monday, Sept. 12, when the single-hour studio offering averaged 664,000 viewers. The viewership bested the previous 15+ September episodes dating back to 2016, and also surpassed NFL Live’s viewership of any episode last season. Last season, the regular season viewership high occurred on December 17, 2021, with 635,000 viewers.

The strong viewership follows the show’s 2021 NFL Season success:

NFL Rewind Kicks off ESPN’s Monday NFL Programming in Strong Way
NFL Rewind
is averaging 411,000 viewers per episode, the show’s best September mark since it was branded NFL Rewind during the 2019 season. The weekly highlights and analysis show (3-4 p.m., Mondays) is up 6% year-over-year and up in the key persons 18-49 demo.

Monday Night Countdown is averaging 1.3 million viewers for its two September episodes, Weeks 1 and 3, which aired in its traditional timeslot (6-8 p.m.), providing a strong lead in to Monday Night Football’s record-setting viewership. In Week 2, when ESPN presented the first of its kind two games, staggered start, Monday Night Countdown started at 5 p.m.

Monday Night Football Airs Two of ESPN’s Most-Watched Games Three Weeks into the Season
Monday Night Football has experienced its best viewership for a Week 1 and Week 3 game, respectively, in ESPN’s era televising the franchise (2006 – present). Both those audiences represent two of the four most-watched Monday games on ESPN in that same era (270+ games).

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 Monday, Sept. 12, 2022 Denver at Seattle 19,845,000
4 Monday, Sept. 26, 2022 Dallas at New York Giants 19,342,000

Note: Viewership for NFL Live is from Thursday, Sept. 8 through Monday, Sept. 26.

Media Contacts:
Derek Volner: [email protected]
Lily Blum: [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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