ESPN’s Monday Night Football Generates Audience of 26.1 Million Viewers for Lions-Cowboys, as the 2023 Season Continues to Deliver the Iconic Television Franchise’s Most-Watched Games in 26 Seasons

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ESPN’s Monday Night Football Generates Audience of 26.1 Million Viewers for Lions-Cowboys, as the 2023 Season Continues to Deliver the Iconic Television Franchise’s Most-Watched Games in 26 Seasons

 

Please Note: The release below was posted on Wednesday, January 3, and indicates Nielsen’s final audience number. – and is now the release of record for the Lions-Cowboys audience. This audience represents a 400k increase from Nielsen’s Fast Nationals number on Monday, January 1. The original release can be found here: https://bit.ly/48A6L25

  • MNF’s Three Most-Watched Games Since 1997 Have Aired in Span of Six Weeks
  • Lions-Cowboys Up 96% from Comparable Week 17 Game
  • Monday Night Football Solidifies Best Season-Long Viewership in ESPN Era

ESPN’s Monday Night Football delivered an audience higher than 26.1 million viewers for the second consecutive game and for the third game in the span of six weeks airing the Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys Monday Night Football Special Edition on Saturday, Dec. 30 (8:15 p.m. ET).

The Lions-Cowboys audience of 26,106,0000 viewers (ESPN, ABC, ESPN2, ESPN+, ESPN Deportes and NFL+) joins Eagles-Chiefs (November 22) and Ravens-49ers (December 25) from this season as the three most-watched Monday Night Football games since 1997.

The 2023 Monday Night Football season (20 games) is now officially the most-watched MNF season of the ESPN era (2006 – present), averaging 17.1 million viewers. The television franchise is up 33% year-over-year.

More on Lions-Cowboys:

  • Averaged more than 27.6 million viewers during a significant portion of the second half (10:30 – 11:15 p.m. ET)
  • Up 96% from ESPN’s Monday Night Football Week 17 in 2021** (Browns-Steelers)

Doubleheader Saturday Features No. 1 Seeded Ravens Hosting Playoff-Hopeful Steelers and a Texans-Colts’ Win-and-In Game
The NFL on ESPN will conclude its regular season coverage with Doubleheader Saturday on January 6 across ESPN, ABC, and ESPN+, with the AFC’s No. 1 seed Baltimore Ravens hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers (4:30 p.m.) followed by an AFC South showdown between the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts (8:15 p.m.). The winner of the Texans-Colts matchup will clinch an AFC Wild Card spot and remain in contention for a Division title. The Steelers also keep their playoff chances alive with a victory.

Monday Night Football’s Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Lisa Salters will be in Indianapolis and Chris Fowler, Dan Orlovsky, Louis Riddick and Laura Rutledge will be in Baltimore.

Pregame coverage begins at 3 p.m. with NFL Countdown across all the same networks.

Please note: Audiences based on Nielsen’s Fast Nationals; No year-over-year comparison to 2022 MNF Week 17, as the game was cancelled

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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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