100 Million Fans! Monday Night Football Leads Way as NFL on ESPN Game and Studio Portfolio Delivers Multiple Viewership Successes Halfway through 2023 NFL Season


100 Million Fans! Monday Night Football Leads Way as NFL on ESPN Game and Studio Portfolio Delivers Multiple Viewership Successes Halfway through 2023 NFL Season


  • Monday Night Football Averaging 15.4 Million Viewers, Best in ESPN Era
  • Sunday NFL Countdown and NFL Live with Shows’ Highest Viewership Since 2016
  • Monday Night Countdown and NFL PrimeTime Add to Studio Success
  • MNF and Studio Shows Up in Key Demos

ESPN’s Monday Night Football has reached more than 100 million fans and is achieving a record high weekly viewership, providing a foundation for success across the entire NFL on ESPN portfolio at the halfway point of the 2023 NFL Season. Multiple NFL on ESPN studio shows have scored their own individual viewership success, including Sunday NFL Countdown and NFL Live delivering their best audiences since 2016. In addition to the overall viewership success, the portfolio is also experiencing growth in key demos, including Persons 18-49 and Women.

The first half viewership success leads into ESPN’s most comprehensive second half of the NFL season in the brand’s history, first concluding its 23-game regular season schedule and delivering multiple NFL Playoff games for the first time.

Monday Night Football Up 15% Year-Over-Year Among Many Highlights
Monday Night Football has reached 101 million fans through Week 9 (11 linear games) while averaging 15.4 million viewers per game in the same time period. The record Monday Night Football viewership is the television franchise’s best at the halfway mark since it began airing on ESPN (2006 season). Year-over-year, the reach is up 14% and viewership is up 15%.

The overall Monday Night Football viewership is further amplified by increases in nearly every individual demo, including double-digit growth in Women (20%) and Persons 12-17 (10%), as well as strong growth in Persons 18-49 (6%).

The impressive numbers include all games, including Week 3 which featured two overlapping games vs. just the one in the 2022 season. Excluding this year’s Week 3, Monday Night Football would be up 21% year-over-year, averaging 16.3 million viewers a game.

Monday Night Football viewership consists of telecasts on ESPN, ABC and ESPN2 where applicable.

Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli Add to Their Alternate Telecast Viewership Records
Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli
continue to add to their record breaking alternate telecast viewership, with the alternate telecast averaging 1.2 million viewers an episode. Each of the five editions this year has added to the show’s record amongst ESPN’s most-watched alternate telecasts, which Peyton and Eli now hold the top two dozen spots.

Sunday NFL Countdown Up in Every Key Demo
Sunday NFL Countdown (10 a.m. – 1 p.m.) is experiencing its best viewership since 2016, averaging 1.5 million viewers per show. The weekly pregame show is up a strong 15% year-over-year, and delivered growth in every key demo including in women (16%), Persons 18-49 (22%), and Persons 12-17 (11%).

NFL Live Continues Trend of Building Audience
NFL Live (4-5 p.m.) has bested its early season viewership from the previous year once again, as the daily show continues its well-documented trend of growing its audience each season. Through November 3, the daily show is averaging 407,000 viewers per episode, NFL Live’s best early-season start since 2016. Year-over-year, the show is also up in the key P18-49 demo and has maintained its viewership amongst women.

Monday Night Countdown Generates Significant Lead In to MNF
Monday Night Countdown (6-8 p.m.) delivered a multi-year high in its regular season debut, while separately earning four million viewers, on average, in Weeks 1 and 2 for the portion that aired on ABC (7:30-8 p.m.). For the season, the entire show is averaging 1.2 million viewers on ESPN, with the final hour averaging 1.6 million viewers.

NFL PrimeTime Tops on ESPN+
NFL PrimeTime on ESPN+ remains the most-viewed studio show on the platform since the start of the football season.

Please note: Sunday NFL Countdown excludes weeks it went up against an International game not on an ESPN platform. Monday Night Countdown excludes Weeks 2 and 3 when the format was different due to multiple Monday Night Football games. NFL Live season-to-date range is Sept. 7 to Nov. 3 and compared to similar dates in past seasons.

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.
Back to top button