Monday Night Football Experiencing Best Viewership Since 2010

NFL

Monday Night Football Experiencing Best Viewership Since 2010

  • Averaging 14.3 Million Viewers a Game, Up 4% Year-Over-Year and Double Digits from Every Other Year Dating Back to 2015 
  • Nearly 90 Million Fans Have Watched MNF This Season, Up 9% Year-Over-Year 
  • Tentpole Success: Disney Networks Combined to Average More than 20 Million Viewers in Week 2, ESPN+ Delivered its Most-Watched Event Ever in Week 8 
  • Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli Rewrite Alternate Telecast Record Books 
  • Sunday NFL Countdown, NFL Live and NFL Rewind Each Delivering Best Season-to-Date Viewership in Multiple Years; Monday Night Countdown Matches Best October Audience in Five Years

ESPN’s Monday Night Football viewership is at its highest since 2010 through the first nine weeks of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman’s first season and nearly 90 million fans have watched MNF this season, providing a foundation for successes across ESPN’s entire NFL portfolio. Outside of the significant season-to-date viewership, ESPN also introduced two new initiatives this season to immediate success – the Week 2 multi-game option which generated more than 20 million viewers across Disney networks during overlapping game action and the most-streamed event ever on ESPN+ with its first exclusive game in Week 8.

Furthermore, Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli continues to re-write the records for ESPN alternate telecasts, while multiple ESPN studio shows are seeing multi-year viewership highs thus far in the season.

Monday Night Football – Successes across the Board
Monday Night Football is averaging 14.3 million viewers a game for the eight weeks it has presented a standalone 8:15 p.m. ET kickoff (eight games – Week 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9), the television franchise’s best viewership average through nine weeks since 2010. In the ESPN era of MNF (2006-present), this season’s viewership is the third best, trailing 2010 and 2009 by 3% and 2% respectively.

Beyond being up 4% year-over-year, MNF’s viewership is up double digits from each season beginning with 2015 and through 2020.

In Week 2, which is not included in the above season-to-date viewership, Monday Night Football featured two games with staggered kickoffs (7:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.). During that special presentation, which will become a staple of Monday Night Football beginning next season, Disney networks averaged 20.6 million viewers when Tennessee-Buffalo and Minnesota-Philadelphia were shown simultaneously during a two-hour period (8:30 – 10:30 p.m.). Inclusive of both games’ average minute audience in Week 2, Monday Night Football’s season-to-date average is 13.4 million viewers through all 10 games (nine weeks), in line with viewership through the same time period in 2021.

In totality, through the first half of the season, 89 million fans have watched Monday Night Football, up 9% from the same time last season (81.4 million).

Note: Season-to-date averages includes ESPN, as well as ESPN2 and ABC where applicable.

ESPN+ Delivers its Most-Watched Event
In Week 8, the first-ever exclusive NFL game on ESPN+ – Denver Broncos-Jacksonville Jaguars from Wembley Stadium in London became the most-viewed event ever on the industry-leading sports streaming service.

Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli Holds ESPN’s Top 15 Alternate Telecast Viewership Records
Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli’s six editions to this season have resulted in the show now having the 15 most-watched alternate telecasts in ESPN history, adding to the nine most-watched alternate presentations following their debut year in 2021. In summary, 15 of the show’s 16 episodes have surpassed all other ESPN alternate telecasts in viewership.

This season, the show’s high-water mark was Rams-49ers (Week 4) with 1.6 million viewers, with the show averaging 1.4 million viewers a show.

Fans Flock to ESPN’s NFL Studio Shows, Driving Multi-Year Highs
As the NFL season reaches its midway point, ESPN’s portfolio of NFL studio show are delivering victories, as Sunday NFL Countdown, NFL Live and NFL Rewind have earned their best season-to-date audience in multiple years, including an impressive six-year high for NFL Live. Furthermore, Monday Night Countdown finished October with its best second-month-of-the-season viewership in five years.

  • ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown (10 a.m. – 1 p.m. each Sunday) is averaging 1.28 million viewers through Week 9 (seven shows), the weekly pregame show’s best audience at this point in the season since 2019 and second highest since 2016. The audience is up 5% from last year at the same point (1.22 million viewers).
  • Monday Night Countdown (6-8 p.m., Mondays) matched its most-watched October since 2017, as the MNF lead-in averaged 1.36 million viewers.
  • NFL Live, which has documented impressive viewership growth for an extended period time, has continued the trend with its best start since 2016. This season, the daily program (4 – 5 p.m.) is averaging 410,000 viewers an episode through Week 9 (41 episodes).
  • NFL Rewind has delivered the show’s best season-to-date audience in its three seasons, averaging 394,000 viewers an episode through Week 9. The audience for the weekly show (3-4 p.m., Mondays) represents an audience increase of 9% over 2021 and 12% over 2020.

Note:  Weeks in which Sunday NFL Countdown had game competition on linear networks are excluded for this year and previous year’s averages.

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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