MNF Helps ESPN Win the Night on 13 of 16 Mondays This Fall
This week’s ESPN Monday Night Football season finale – a Denver Broncos’ 20-17 overtime victory over the Cincinnati Bengals – delivered a 9.4 US rating and 15,806,000 viewers, based on Nielsen ratings, giving ESPN its highest-rated and most-viewed MNF telecast of the season. The game peaked from 11:30-11:45 p.m. ET with an 11.2 rating and 18,580,000 viewers.
ESPN led all networks (broadcast or cable) in viewers, households and all key male and adult demos, while MNF led all the night’s programs in those same categories.
In Cincinnati, the game delivered a 15.6 rating on ESPN and a 28.6 on WLWT-NBC, for a combined 44.2 rating in the market. In Denver, the game delivered a 17.7 rating on ESPN and a 24.3 on KTVD-IND, for a combined 42.0 rating in the market.
2015 MNF Season Highlights
ESPN’s presentation of the 46th season of MNF (17 telecasts in 16 weeks) in 2015 averaged an 8.1 US household rating, 9,392,000 households and 12,898,000 viewers (P2+), according to Nielsen.
- ESPN won the night all 16 weeks of the 2015 MNF season among all key male demos and adults 18-34 and 18-49; ESPN won the night 14 weeks among households and 13 weeks among viewers.
- ESPN’s MNF was the No. 1 telecast of the night all 16 weeks of the 2015 MNF season among key male demos and adults 18-34; 15 weeks among adults 18-49.
- Top-10 metered markets for the MNF season: Las Vegas (14.0), New Orleans (13.0), Denver (12.3), San Diego (12.2), Norfolk, Va. (12.1), West Palm Beach (11.8), Richmond (11.5), Seattle (11.4), Dayton (11.2) and Phoenix (11.1).
The 2015 season is ESPN’s 10th year presenting Monday Night Football.
This season, MNF games on ESPN Deportes averaged 0.3 Hispanic Household rating with 47,000 Hispanic Household impressions and 69,000 Hispanic viewers (P2+). The highest-rated game of the season was 49ers-Vikings on Sept. 14 (0.5 Hispanic Household rating with 72,000 Hispanic Household impressions and 107,000 Hispanic viewers, P2+).
Across both ESPN and ESPN Deportes, 12.5 million Hispanic viewers (P2+) tuned in to MNF this season. On ESPN Deportes alone, 2.8 million Hispanic viewers (P2+) tuned into MNF this season, according to Nielsen.
Note: It was announced earlier this week that ESPN Deportes will televise Super Bowl 50 in Spanish through an agreement with the NFL and CBS. Release.
Monday’s Bengals-Broncos game had an average minute audience on WatchESPN of 154,000, up 71 percent compared to Week 16 last season. The game drew 460,000 unique viewers and 35 million total live minutes viewed, up 63 percent and 77 percent, respectively, over last year. ESPN Digital Media on Sunday had an average minute audience of 667,000, up 8 percent over Week 16 last season. Specifically, the ESPN Fantasy Football app accounted for 40 percent of ESPN’s total digital audience for the day, attracting 4.9 million unique visitors and an average minute audience of 268,000 – up 26 percent and 65 percent, respectively. Of Sunday’s total NFL audience on digital platforms, 80 percent came from mobile devices.
The 17 Monday Night Football games (over 16 Mondays) this season generated an average minute audience of 178,000 on WatchESPN, an increase of 68 percent compared to 2014. WatchESPN also recorded its top 15 (and 16 of the top 18) highest audiences ever for MNF this season, its largest being the Vikings-49ers opening night doubleheader game that attracted an additional 230,000 average minute impressions to the TV audience. Additionally, nine of the top 10 best days ever for ESPN Digital were recorded on NFL Sundays during the 2015 season, including its best day ever on Sept. 13 that attracted an average minute audience of 1.27 million across platforms, eclipsing the previous high set on Sept. 7, 2014 by 24 percent.
NFL Playoff Game to Air on ESPN and ABC during Wild Card Weekend (Jan. 9-10)
ESPN’s Monday Night Football team of Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and reporter Lisa Salters will call a NFL playoff game during Wild Card weekend, Jan. 9-10 (teams/time TBD). The game will air on both ESPN and ABC for the first time, in addition to being streamed live on WatchESPN. The MNF crew will also call the NFL Pro Bowl on Sunday, Jan. 31 at 8 p.m. at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii.