- ESPN’s Second Highest-Rated and Second-Most Viewed Season-Opening Doubleheader
- West Coast Game Out-Delivers Early Game for First Time
- MNF Games Rank as Top Telecasts of the Night across Cable and Broadcast
Last night’s special 2015 season-opening Monday Night Football doubleheader helped ESPN win the night among all networks – broadcast or cable – in households, viewers and all key male and adult demos. The MNF games ranked as the #1 and #2 telecasts of the night across cable and broadcast among viewers, and all key male and adult demos.
The two MNF games combined to average an 8.6 US household rating and 13,915,000 viewers (P2+), according to Nielsen fast nationals, giving ESPN its second highest-rated and second most-viewed season-opening doubleheader since 2006, just behind 2013 (8.7 rating and 13,977,000 viewers).
For the first time in ESPN’s 10 years of televising the season-opening MNF doubleheader, the West Coast game out-delivered the early game. The San Francisco 49ers’ 20-3 victory over the Minnesota Vikings (10:15 p.m. ET) earned an 8.8 rating and 14,330,000 viewers, making it the highest-rated and most-viewed doubleheader late game on ESPN. (Note: The previous best was 2009 for Chargers-Raiders: 7.6 rating and 11,945,000 viewers.) The game peaked from 10:17-10:30 p.m. with an 11.3 rating and 18,307,000 viewers.
In Minneapolis-St. Paul, the game delivered an 11.7 rating on ESPN and a 19.6 on WCCO-CBS, for a combined 31.3 rating in the market. In San Francisco, the game delivered a 10.9 rating on ESPN and a 15.0 on KPIX-CBS, for a combined 25.9 rating.
The top 10 metered markets (not including those of the competing teams): Sacramento (23.4), Las Vegas (15.7), New Orleans (15.1), San Diego (14.9), Phoenix (14.0), Seattle-Tacoma (14.0), Los Angeles (12.6), Denver (12.5), Portland (11.6) and San Antonio (11.4).
The early game (6:55 p.m.) – a thrilling Atlanta Falcons’ 26-24 win over the Philadelphia Eagles – averaged an 8.5 US rating and 13,560,000 viewers. The telecast peaked from 10-10:17 p.m. with a 12.1 rating and 19,773,000 viewers.
In Philadelphia, the game delivered a 14.6 rating on ESPN and a 17.0 on WPHL-IND, for a combined 31.6 rating in the market. In Atlanta, the game delivered a 9.9 rating on ESPN and a 15.8 on WSB-ABC, for a combined 25.7 rating in the market.
The top 10 metered markets (not including those of the competing teams): West Palm Beach (14.3), Richmond (14.1), New Orleans (13.9), Norfolk (13.6), Las Vegas (13.3), Baltimore (13.2), Greenville, N.C. (13.1), Dallas-Ft. Worth (11.8), Birmingham (11.7) and Jacksonville (11.6).
Most-Watched Opening Night NFL Game on ESPN Deportes
Last night’s Vikings-49ers MNF game delivered the most-watched opening night NFL game ever on ESPN Deportes, averaging a 0.5 Hispanic Household US rating and 107,000 Hispanic viewers (P2+). Previous best was 2014’s Chargers-Cardinals late game (106,000 Hispanic viewers). Last night’s Eagles-Falcons telecast delivered a 0.3 Hispanic Household US rating and 77,000 Hispanic viewers.
NFL Drives ESPN Digital to Its Best Day Ever and Most-Watched MNF Games on WatchESPN
Driven by kickoff of the 2015 NFL season, ESPN Digital recorded its best day ever on Sunday, September 13 with an average minute audience of 1.27 million people across platforms, eclipsing the previous high of 1 million (up 24 percent) set on Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014 (Week 1 of 2014 NFL season). Specifically, 48 percent of time spent with ESPN Digital properties on Sunday was with the ESPN Fantasy Football app, which attracted 6.8 million unique visitors and an average minute audience of 604,000 – up 21 percent and 53 percent, respectively, compared to the previous year.
Additionally, ESPN.com, ESPN apps and WatchESPN across platforms logged 42.7 million unique visitors on Sunday, up seven percent. NFL content specifically across digital platforms peaked at an average of 3.13 million users during the average minute. Of Sunday’s total NFL audience on digital platforms, 83 percent came from mobile devices.
The MNF doubleheader on Monday, Sept. 14 also logged the two highest audiences ever for MNF on WatchESPN with more than 83 million total minutes viewed, up 119 percent compared to last year’s Week 1 double header. Highlights:
- Eagles vs. Falcons – attracted an average minute audience of 215,000 (up 132 percent), 728,000 live unique viewers (up 94 percent compared to the previous year) and 43 million total minutes viewed (up 136 percent).
- Vikings vs. 49ers – highest audience ever for a MNF game on WatchESPN with an average minute audience of 229,000 (up 129 percent). It also had 840,000 live unique viewers (up 102 percent) and 40 million total minutes viewed (up 102 percent).
NEXT WEEK ON MNF: Andrew Luck and Colts Host Darrelle Revis and Jets
Next week, ESPN’s MNF returns with a key AFC matchup as Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts host Darrelle Revis and the New York Jets at 8:15 p.m. ET (kickoff at 8:30 p.m.).