Lowest Week Two rating since MNF moved to ESPN

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Plenty of factors are pointing to a resurgence of national interest in pro football. Some factors aren’t.

Case in point: According to SportsBusiness Daily, the Week Two Monday Night Football game on ESPN generated the lowest rating since the package moved to the four-letter network in 2006.

The 8.2 rating reflects a six-percent drop from last year’s 8.7 for Lions-Giants, the previous low.

The game wasn’t spectacular, which surely was a huge factor. That’s why people tune in; not to hear the announcers or to see Booger McFarland in a floating chair or to hear Khalil Mack say absolutely nothing of any value or significance into a microphone attached like a pledge pin on his uniform or to see at halftime a cheesy lip-synced black-and-white video that harkens back to the days when MTV actually played cheesy lip-synced black-and-white videos.

Then there’s the fact that a cable audience always will be smaller than a broadcast audience. That’s why Monday Night Football used to get better games when it was on ABC, and why NBC’s Sunday Night Football gets better games now.

66 responses to “Lowest Week Two rating since MNF moved to ESPN

  1. Honestly what did you ecpect , the sunday night game started it off with a game that set pro football back 50 yrs and you follow it with bears/seahawks ? Do away with sunday night and thursday night football and watch the ratings climb

  2. I’ll go ahead and point out the obvious….the NFLs political stance is ruining football. And the ridiculous penalities.

  3. The monday night games arent as relevant as they were when they were on ABC. the real marquee game is the sunday night game. Since the games moved to ESPN the quality of the matchups are usually not fantastic. Jets vs Lions?, a disappointing Seahawks team vs a still average Bears team? “Cmon Man”

  4. Obviously you were watching the game. The game matters but so does how it’s presented and the way ESPN has been presenting the game has always struggled but they’ve reached new lows this year. Honestly many low level college broadcasts are done with better production and announcing.

  5. It shows that playing the game of media market does not work. Chicago is one of the biggest TV audience markets in the country, along with LA, New York, SF Bay Area, and Dallas-Fort Worth, people in Chicago will likely watch because it is their home team, but if the match up is mediocre (either one or both teams is not competitive) then the rest of the country will not tune in and you end up with a low rating. Schedule a good matchup and people will tune in even if they are not from either one of the 2 cities.

  6. I only watched part of the game despite being a Bears fan, but that was due to a prior engagement.

    I have a theory about why people are turning off or just not watching some games: The commentators…

    I may be among the minority who like the NBC commentators, though both of them tend to go off on odd tangents now and then; but the revolving door that has been ESPN since they let Tirico go is nearly unwatchable; same goes for some of the non-“first string” teams for FOX and CBS (and at times the primary teams too, for that matter).

    Witten is still green, so I can give him a bit more slack, but the other 2 are not great…

    Not saying I have a fix, but that’s got to be a part of why people aren’t turning in.

  7. Lol, kind of running out of excuses aren’t we? Always some reason. At the end of the day, less people are watching because it’s a poor product. Rule changes, terrible leadership, political activism, etc, etc….I don’t watch, read a lot now. Books are like television in your head!!

  8. did not mind the game
    announcers talk when plays are ongoing is plain stupid – are they not watching the game
    worst announcer – “Tony Romo”, gotten to the point where he won’t shut up and he just rambles on and on.
    somebody needs to talk to this guy and tell him, he no longer is the star, no one really cares what he thinks.
    He really sucks and the station made a big error in signing him to a contract

  9. Overexposed. Move TNF to Monday so the players don’t get killed on 5 days of rest and viewers get a higher-quality game. ESPN will find a high school poker or corn hole tournament to fill the gap.

  10. **changes channel to e$pn***

    “ugh, Seattle and Chicago?”

    ***immediately hits last channel button****

    I’m guessing most had the same experience as me

  11. Also, the Bears burned a lot of viewers in prime-time last year: they weren’t very good games then, either, and that probably left a lingering taste in a lot of people’s mouths.

    And the Seahawks suck, too.

  12. It’s excuse making to suggest the catalyst for the drop in ratings was anything else other than the anthem issue. Even people who stuck around the previous year were just so worn down by the issue(whether for or against) that the other stuff may have been the final straw, but it stems from the anthem issue.

  13. MNF is a dinosaur. Average people no longer watch games other than the team they root for. The entertainment arena is so much more vast with technology. NFL needs to make the game more interesting to the common viewer, but with the rules they keep implementing the game only becomes harder to watch. The MNF cash cow is over, the smart people need to figure out a new way to entice the younger generation to watch games.

  14. I am another fan who no longer has cable. the NFL and other professional sports have turned their back on their fans by not making their product available to all their fans because they are chasing the almighty dollar. I have to admit however if my favorite team plays a Monday or Thursday night game one of the local channels pick it up. Which makes them smarter than the NFL. Because they understand the number one rule of any business which is if your goal is to be successful then make your product available to the largest number of people.

    PS: ESPN sucks.

  15. MNF lost a good amount of its prestige when it moved from ABC to ESPN 12 years ago. It doesn’t help that the announcing teams have been pretty bad over the last 5-6 years. SNF has surpassed MNF as the premiere game. It also helps that SNF can flex games where MNF cannot.

  16. MNF (and to a lesser degree Sunday NF) are overloaded with ads. Combine that with really late start times and the games end around midnight. I’m okay with replays to get things right but that even leads to more commercials. I only watch MNF and SNF past the first quarter if it’s my team playing

  17. Put decent teams on and maybe we’ll watch. They need to drop Whitten and tell Bugger to shut the hell up.

  18. With hundreds of channels to choose from as well as all the streaming viewers, anyone surprised by lower ratings is also probably shocked incandescent bulbs don’t sell very well either.

  19. Unless you gamble or a college student, nobody has time to consume Wednesday thru Monday football. There is too much. College plays cupcake schedules and the NFL game is taking too long each week. The game is basically now Madden on easy mode with your dominant QB. The league has made every other position worthless to fans. Each Sunday becomes less and less important ,especially if you live out of market from your home team. You can check scores from anywhere.

  20. I ended my DirecTV contract last year, and just watch local over-the-air TV now. I’m sure I’m not the only one.

  21. I spent the whole Monday at work not even thinking a MNF game was happening that night.

    I don’t know why or what that means but there it is.

  22. Its not the announcers or the station. Just to many lame ass rules. Games kinda ruined now.
    Just not what it used to be. Too soft.

  23. Monday night games are made to feel subpar to the Sunday night games. Not only that but then you have Thursday night games people are just burnt out from football by that time. On Thursday there is a game and then you have college on Saturday and then NFL Sunday all day. And it’s not an anthem thing baseball attendance and ratings are way down and that sport has an average viewer of over 50. Meanwhile NBAs ratings are up but not as high as NFL ratings and that sport is even more political than the NFL. There are probably people that left from the anthem but TV viewing habits are probably also contributing.

  24. The Bears, I mean, geeezzzz….they are SO boring….when it’s more enticing to watch the Browns on the off chance they might win, you KNOW your team is just blah…..

  25. I’ve been watching with the t.v. on mute. The new female announcer is horrible. How about having ex players or someone who actually played football announce these games.

    This experiment isn’t working

  26. ESPN ruined and butchered Monday Night Football. Glad NBC has the best play by play man in Al Michaels and really Sunday Nights are the new Monday nights!

  27. Is ESPN still around? Even with the cost of cable? Sorry, I won’t pay it and if the NFL keeps attempting to squeeze more from my wallet, I’ll treat it like golf, tennis and polo – let the rich people pay for it.

  28. The announcers were terrible. It felt like I was listening to auditions. Why cant ESPN find decent announcers?

  29. The quality of the play by play announcers continues to decline. It sounds more like a radio broadcast, describing events as they unfold, with predictable hackneyed expressions and captain obvious insights.

  30. Does anyone care to realize that these ratings only consider traditional TV viewership? It doesn’t yet take into account people watching on the internet (like YouTube TV, Sling, etc). These numbers are not holistic. More people total could have watched than in the past, and nobody would know.

    This isn’t “fake news” – surely will be heavily downvoted. If you care to check, Google is your friend.

  31. Could be that the NFL keeps turning its back on city after city. Fans donʻt count. Greedy owners, criminal players and executives. Golden Goose! San Diego, St Louis, Oakland. I have moved on and dont care about the NFL or its product.

  32. Go back to the way it was. Two time slots on Sunday, and one on Monday. Got to keep the viewers craving for more. Get rid of Sunday and Thursday night games. The market is saturated with too many games each week.Therefore people are losing interest.

  33. I’ve been watching mnf for years. This game was absolutely awful. Seattle couldn’t sniff a first down and all the talk about tribisky is nauseating.

  34. just saying…. I know LOTS of football fans being involved in 4 fantasy leagues. I do not know one single person that was so upset with the anthem issue that they stopped watching pro football.

  35. We were told people stopped going to the games because the home experience was better. 60 inch TV, clean bathroom and cheaper beer.

    Now we’re supposed to believe that the experience of streaming the game on a 6 inch phone or 10 inch tablet is better than the 4k 60 incher.

    All the while people are stating that they quit watching for a reason or 3 and people in the media continue to tell those same exact people that it isn’t the reason.

    Whistling past the graveyard….

  36. ESPN’s MNF broadcast is straight garbage! Stop force feeding the two-minutes-too long per analyst C’Mon, Man! segments that make no sense and have NOTHING to do with the NFL.

    And Witten says the most asinine things! He reminds me of the days of Dennis Miller and Tony Kornheiser, except he actually knows football jargon!


    With that said, I’ll be at RayJay Monday to continue rooting on the Bucs in person and I won’t have to listen to the ESPN garbage….So I guess I’ve got that going for me!

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