Skip to content

Week One Monday night ratings down

A little boy sits on the floor and stares intently at the TV, circa 1950. (Photo by V. Prazak/FPG/Hulton Archive/Getty Images) Getty Images

The first 14 games of Week One featured eleven decided by one score or less, six by fewer than a field goal, and four by only one point. The four teams that played on Monday night didn’t get the memo.

Both games featured margins of victory larger than any of the Thursday or Sunday games, with Pittsburgh beating Washington by 22 and San Francisco shutting out the Rams, 28-0.

Those numbers helped contribute to less impressive viewership numbers. According to SportsBusiness Daily, the ratings for the early game dropped from 9.8 in 2015 (Eagles-Falcons) to 9.1 for Steelers-Washington. The late game had an even bigger decline, with last year’s Vikings-49ers 9.5 shrinking to 7.1 for Rams-49ers.

Yes, with the Rams back in the nation’s No. 2 media market, the audience for a game that swapped out Minnesota for L.A. from one year to the next saw a 2.4-point drop in ratings. Via Richard Deitsch of, the total audience fell from 14.3 million to 10.3 million.

The quality of the game surely contributed to the decline. But last year’s 20-3 drubbing of the Vikings by the 49ers was a snooze-fest, too. It nevertheless drew four million more eyeballs. (Actually eight million, if we exclude the cyclops demographic.)

That’s still better than the ESPN college football game from a week earlier between Florida State and Mississippi, which had 8.3 million viewers. So the NFL is still the king, even when the most compelling moment in one of the games came when a fan ran onto the field.

Permalink 39 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Home, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Rumor Mill, San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins
39 Responses to “Week One Monday night ratings down”
  1. finchy74 says: Sep 13, 2016 7:45 PM

    Cyclops lives matter.

  2. The Truth says: Sep 13, 2016 7:46 PM

    If the nfl continues to allow the stooges to disrespect this country those ratings will plummet even further

  3. JohnnyACE♠ GRAND MASTER SEN$Ei {{-_-}}™ says: Sep 13, 2016 7:48 PM

    Bring Back The Los Angeles Raiders.
    Downvote me all you like but you see who’s representing LA right now. {{-_-}}

  4. tattooit says: Sep 13, 2016 7:51 PM


    The production is just SO TERRIBLE. Especially when compared to the NBC Broadcast.

    ESPN is just so terrible at everything outside of the 30/30 documentaries which really… They don’t have much to do with producing.

    That network is unwatchable.

  5. delhommed says: Sep 13, 2016 7:54 PM

    I think the NFL gave ESPN a bad Monday night football season schedule because of ESPN’s refusal to say “Redskins”… just look at the MNF season schedule

  6. doomsdaydefensetx says: Sep 13, 2016 7:54 PM

    More so has to do with the fact the redskins losing was concrete. And no one cares about the rams or 9ers. Terrible lineup. Nothing with the fact that players are “protesting”

  7. dansardo says: Sep 13, 2016 7:56 PM

    The steelers redakins game wasn’t very interesting for anyone except a hard core steelers fan and no one that tuned in to the 49rs Rams game expected to see playoff caliber teams playing against each other but the game was so bad and badly played by both teams that even mist fans of the teams decided it was unwatchable.

  8. jamarcuslives says: Sep 13, 2016 7:58 PM

    Washington has no star power now. Ratings would’ve been through the roof with RG3 starting. Nobody will tune in for Cousins because everyone knows he’s a fraud. Proved it last night. SMH!

  9. gbbvan says: Sep 13, 2016 7:58 PM

    crap games get crap ratings.
    just like the NFL Network.

  10. abninf says: Sep 13, 2016 8:00 PM

    Should have had the Cowboys play last night.

  11. matt2calvin says: Sep 13, 2016 8:02 PM

    I’ve decided to get on one knee instead of watching the NFL this year.


  12. somepeopleneedtogetalife says: Sep 13, 2016 8:03 PM

    Great. Maybe now the marketing gurus in the NFL will get the message that Thursday Sunday and Monday night games are a bit much. I guess they don’t believe there is too much of a good thing.

    I used to watch games morning noon and night when they had the London games, but that’s all changed now that the NFL has shown what a greedy , deceitful group of ignorant bitter people they are.

    I went to a clambake Sunday at 100 pm, something I wouldn’t even consider 2, 3 years ago. I’m not telling people to boycott the NFL, I still love football. But like the strike ruined MLB for me and the lockout ruined NHL, i just don’t go nuts over it anymore.

    I guess I should thank Roger in some weird way for telling me to get a life outside football.

  13. JSpicoli says: Sep 13, 2016 8:04 PM

    Its going to be an increasing trend unless the league stops the tail from wagging the dog about victim fantasies.

  14. bleedingfacemask says: Sep 13, 2016 8:04 PM

    Well, the continuously steady decline of MNF viewership over the last few years certainly cannot be blamed on cord cutters, that movement is just a myth. Yeppers, it had to be the scores of the games that lost viewers.

  15. TebowedOutOfThePostSeasonsAndNeverToReturn says: Sep 13, 2016 8:11 PM

    I know why NFL is seeing declining ratings. Why don’t you discuss the real reason? The people buying the tickets and the gear are getting tired of getting spat on. It’s only going to get worse.

  16. cobrala2 says: Sep 13, 2016 8:12 PM

    I would say because of the four teams playing only one was of any quality.

  17. doe22us says: Sep 13, 2016 8:13 PM

    The Monday night games were boring an one sided, on the real who wants to see the Rams/49er’s.

  18. mmack66 says: Sep 13, 2016 8:16 PM

    It has nothing to do with a few players sitting or kneeling.

    They ruined Monday Night Football when they moved it to ESPN, and the games they have are terrible.

  19. juanweiner says: Sep 13, 2016 8:24 PM

    Please bring back Mike Tirico.

  20. GeauxSaints57 says: Sep 13, 2016 8:27 PM

    49ers v. Rams wasn’t a particularly good draw. As an old fart I have to hit Urban Dictionary for every third reference from the announcers.

    Yet I watched ten games between Thursday and Monday. Guess I still like football, despite what it has morphed into.

    Man I miss a stout defense.

  21. mikea311 says: Sep 13, 2016 8:33 PM

    If the nfl continues to allow the stooges to disrespect this country those ratings will plummet even further.


    I kind of like living in a country where the players are free to “disrespect” it.

  22. livenbreathefootball says: Sep 13, 2016 8:36 PM

    LA might be the second biggest market, but the football fans there actually didn’t want a team. They LIKED not having a team so they are not suddenly going to start watching games just because a team was forced on them.

  23. nitzie says: Sep 13, 2016 8:38 PM

    ESPN is visual cancer.

  24. crownofthehelmet says: Sep 13, 2016 8:50 PM

    When the Steelers are hoisting the Lombardi with a 19-0 record, everyone will wish they would have tuned in to witness the start of that historic run.

  25. ksctychiefs says: Sep 13, 2016 8:51 PM

    waited all summer for the ram-9er MNF game…. but KAP took care of that …. i sat it it out too!!!….instead i watched the history channel where the american flag did in the nazi concentration camps…

  26. goraidersgospurs says: Sep 13, 2016 9:00 PM

    matt2calvin says:
    Sep 13, 2016 8:02 PM
    I’ve decided to get on one knee instead of watching the NFL this year.


  27. leatherface2012 says: Sep 13, 2016 9:07 PM

    as long as teams have anti american pukes, ratings will plummet

  28. dadsource says: Sep 13, 2016 9:21 PM

    The play by play announcer for the Stillers game was so bad I turned off the volume, then realized it was a nice night and went outside to have a beer with the neighbors. Good decision. (fist raise)

  29. thesteelhurtin says: Sep 13, 2016 9:42 PM

    Holy hell I agree with Tebow first time ever

  30. jjeastwald says: Sep 13, 2016 10:12 PM

    I’ve given up watching any NFL game that isn’t in my home market. If I see people making political statements with my team I will stop watching them to.

    I won’t buy any more merchandise from the NFL and I quit watching ESPN many years ago.

    I watch sports to get away from the drama, and politics of life. I don’t need it. I’m John Q public and I pay the salaries of these athletes no more.

    Enjoy the ratings drop.

  31. jackdaniels1 says: Sep 13, 2016 10:33 PM

    It’s only week 1 but I already feel exhausted from the previous offseason crap of Manning’s retirement tour, PED investigations, deflategate, the draft, etc. When will Rog and his stooges realize less is more….seriously, after the Super Bowl I don’t want to hear one peep about football so when September rolls around I’m psyched for the season.. But no, we need the 24 hour 365 news cycle, more talks of an expanded playoffs, an 18 game season, games in China and whatever god forsaken place the league office feels is in the best interests of fans. I will be joining the previous commenter in taking a knee until that buffoon Rog is out of office and can give this sport back to the fans

  32. frenzy95 says: Sep 13, 2016 10:35 PM

    I turned on the Rams/49ers game. Saw that Berman and Young were calling the game and turned it off and played some PS4.

  33. moneymike23 says: Sep 13, 2016 11:49 PM

    OMG that kevin harlan call in that link is hilarious.

  34. finchy74 says: Sep 14, 2016 12:06 AM


    You are absolutely correct, sir. The production on NBC football, to their credit, is absolutely spectacular.

  35. stillers213 says: Sep 14, 2016 8:45 AM

    Many I have talked to are losing interest in the NFL, including myself. I’m having a hard time getting into it in a season where the Steelers are expected to do great. There is way too much drama, dumb rule changes, criminal behavior, and now politics. It’s an endless episode of “As the NFL Turns” and I will be turning more to the NHL. Already cancelled my Sunday ticket.

  36. JohnnyACE♠ GRAND MASTER SEN$Ei {{-_-}}™ says: Sep 14, 2016 10:09 AM

    livenbreathefootball says:
    Sep 13, 2016 8:36 PM
    LA might be the second biggest market, but the football fans there actually didn’t want a team. They LIKED not having a team so they are not suddenly going to start watching games just because a team was forced on them.

    Wrong. LA is Raidertown. The NFL just decided to force a different team onto us that can’t even score a point against a bottom 5 team. {{-_-}}

  37. grumpyoleman says: Sep 14, 2016 12:52 PM

    The Redskins and Pittsburgh team game started too early. The San Francisco team vs the LA team started too late to watch all of it. I don’t like them cramming two games in on a week night.

  38. stlouisfan says: Sep 14, 2016 1:01 PM

    LA wasn’t glued to the game ? Second largest TV market , I thought it would be the largest ratings ever for a Monday night game. 20 years without a team ,I mean isn’t that what LA and the NFL have been waiting for ? They have their team and win or lose , good or bad shouldn’t LA be supporting their team by watching the first game ? It was primetime viewing on the West coast. The commercial said the rivalry is back . Has the King of California and the NFL put the wrong team in LA ? I bet STL ratings were very good. We loved watching the King of California Rams get embarrassed on national TV. The thought of Demoff and the King squirming through that mess just like the what they put the fans in STL through during the relocation process. Now maybe LA and the rest of the country will figure out what STL has been enduring for the last 13 years, how bad of a franchise this is.

  39. deepwater805 says: Sep 14, 2016 5:34 PM

    My entire adult life I have been a HUGE NFL fan. I couldn’t wait for the season, and followed from draft day to the Superbowl. However, last weekend I watched zero games. I did not watch the Monday night games. I refuse to watch rich angry young men disrespect the national anthem of the country who gave them the opportunity to become rich. My love of the NFL ended when I saw the NFL do NOTHING about this travesty, and as I saw a growing number of players show their ignorant disrespect, my disillusionment with the NFL grew proportionally. Until the NFL demands respect from their players I will NEVER watch another NFL game.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!