Monday night doubleheader produces 20.6 million total viewers during overlap

NFL: SEP 19 Vikings at Eagles
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It’s harder than ever to sift through the spin and the smoke when it comes to viewership numbers. ESPN and ABC had plenty of extra fodder for spinning and smoking on Monday night, with an overlapping doubleheader.

Here are the basic, raw numbers. Titans-Bills on ESPN averaged 7.9 million viewers on ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN Deportes. Vikings-Eagles on ABC and ESPN+ averaged 12.9 million viewers. Neither number is all that phenomenal, which likely has something to do with the fact that neither game was all that compelling.

The P.R. spin doctors at Disney have whipped up a bigger number regarding the total viewership during the inherently frustrating (for many) two-game overlap. The two games being played at once generated an average audience of 20.6 million on all networks. That exceeds the average audience for the entirety of the Week One Broncos-Seahawks game.

It should. It was two games. Four fan bases. And during the period of overlap, the game being played on the larger network (Vikings-Eagles) was not yet decided.

The question becomes whether two games played back to back could do better, especially with a six-hour ManningCast marathon to go along with the consecutive games. Maybe ESPN and ABC (working with the NFL) should try that next year.

16 responses to “Monday night doubleheader produces 20.6 million total viewers during overlap

  1. I am a Buffalo Bills fan and I wasn’t going to miss a minute of that game for anything. I still wanted to see the entirety of Vikings Eagles and thought it was pretty crudy with the split screen and overlapping games in prime time.

  2. I watched the Buffalo game until it was a blowout, then kind of clicked back and forth. Bring on more football. The more, the merrier.

  3. Viking Fan here.

    Vikings-Eagles was “decided” after the Opening Drive. We looked horrible last night.

  4. Still should’ve added a bye so everybody got an extra week of rest and thus, another weekend of football.


  6. Disney should stick to making a million more BAD Star Wars, Jurassic Park and Spider Man movies and leave the NFL alone !!!

  7. Advertisers know that simultaneous games encourage the viewer to change channels to the other game instead of watching commercials. For the economics of this to work for Disney, it’s better to have a 6 pm and a 9 pm kickoff (Eastern time), not the game-and-a-half approach. And those times aren’t ideal. I’d prefer Disney sell the rights of their second game back to the Sunday broadcasters and just show one Monday game at 7:30 or 8:00 pm.

  8. If the NFL spent the same amount of resources on simplifying the rulebook and improving the officiating as they do tracking tv viewership, maybe they would have better tv viewership.

  9. Does ABC/ESPN care if they needed 2 games to pull in 20.6 million peak viewers? Their production costs were higher but that’s not a deal breaker. They would likely take 2 games every Monday all season long.

    As a viewer I could quibble with a couple little things (too much split screen, ugh) but overall I thought it was great and I’d take 2 games every Monday too!

  10. The split screen was a royal pain in the rear end! If you insist on 2 Monday night games (which I think is wrong) then play them end-to-end not at basically the same time. I wanted to watch my BILLS play. If I wanted to see the other game I would have switched channels. It was totally annoying.

  11. I’m surprised the Bills/Titans game didn’t have more viewers. Perhaps the time prevented many west coast viewers from watching the game. Josh Allen and Bill’s Offense has to be one of the most entertaining football experiences.

  12. Hey ESPN! I tuned in to watch the bills games and did not appreciate the split screen of the eagles game. If I wanted to eagles game, I would have tuned in to that one. If I cared what was happening in the other game, I would have flipped to it. The split screen was annoying!

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