Six of Cable’s 10 Biggest Audiences of 2013; MNF Helps ESPN Win the Night on Eight Mondays This Fall
For the eighth straight year, ESPN’s Monday Night Football ranks as the most-watched series on cable television, drawing six of cable’s 10 biggest audiences for the calendar year among viewers (seven of 10 among households). ESPN’s 17 Monday Night Football telecasts in 2013 averaged an 8.6 US rating, representing an average of 9,993,000 households (13,679,000 viewers – P2+) according to Nielsen. Additionally, ESPN ranked as the No. 1 network all 16 weeks for men 18-49, and 15 of 16 Monday nights this season among coveted key male demographics (men 18-34 and 25-54) and adults 18-34, while winning the night among households and viewers on eight Mondays this fall.
The 2013 season ranks as the third highest-rated and most-viewed season in ESPN’s eight years of presenting Monday Night Football (see chart below). Since 2006, Monday Night Football has registered five of the top 10 all-time biggest household audiences in cable history. (Only Bowl Championship Series college football games since 2011 – which also aired on ESPN – rank higher.) This also marks the 27th consecutive year that ESPN’s prime-time NFL series is cable’s most-watched series.
MNF Season-Finale: Falcons-49ers
MNF ended the 44th season of MNF this week with a 49ers’ 34-24 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in the final regular-season game at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park. The telecast delivered an 8.0 US rating, representing an average of 9,254,000 households (13,227,000 viewers – P2+), based on Nielsen ratings. MNF led all the night’s programs (broadcast or cable) among households, viewers and all key male and adult demos, making ESPN the top network for the night in all categories.
MNF on TV
Highlights for the 2013 NFL season:
- ESPN’s MNF games rank as six of the 10 biggest cable audiences among total viewers (seven among households) in 2013;
- ESPN led all networks on Mondays – cable or broadcast – in delivery of men 18-49 all 16 weeks; men 18-34, men 25-54 and adults 18-34 on 15 of 16 Monday nights; and adults 18-49 on 14 Mondays in prime time this season;
- Eight times, ESPN won the night as the most-watched network among households and total viewers – cable or broadcast – in prime time on Monday;
- ESPN’s highest-rated MNF game of 2013 was the Dallas Cowboys at Chicago Bears (Dec. 9: 10.2 US rating, 11,815,000 households and 16,192,000 viewers). The most-viewed MNF game was the Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins season-opener (Sept. 9) with 16,524,000 viewers and 11,741,000 households based on a 10.1 US rating.
- Top-10 metered markets for the MNF season: New Orleans (16.8), Sacramento (14.6), Las Vegas (14.3), San Diego (13.7), Richmond, Va. (13.3), Seattle-Tacoma (13.1), Norfolk-Portsmouth, Va. (12.4), Washington D.C. (12.2), Charlotte (11.8) and Baltimore (11.8).
ESPN Monday Night Football Season Averages (2006-13)
|Year||US Rating||Households (000s)||Viewers (000s)|
The Most-Watched MNF season on ESPN Deportes
Monday Night Football on ESPN Deportes averaged 45,000 Hispanic households and 68,000 Hispanic viewers (P2+) for the 17-game schedule in 2013, with a 0.3 Hispanic Household US rating. It was the most-watched MNF season on record for ESPN Deportes among Hispanic viewers, surpassing 2009 (62,000 Hispanic viewers), and the Hispanic household mark equals the season-best from 2009. In all, Hispanic households and viewers increased 32 percent and 26 percent, respectively, versus 2012 (34,000 households and 54,000 viewers).
On two occasions in 2013, ESPN Deportes registered the most-watched NFL game ever on nationally broadcast Spanish-language television. First, MNF’s Patriots-Panthers telecast (Nov. 18) averaged a 0.6 Hispanic Household rating and 90,000 Hispanic households and 157,000 Hispanic viewers (P2+). Three weeks later, ESPN Deportes’ Cowboys-Bears telecast (Dec. 9) set a new record, averaging a 0.7 US Hispanic Household rating and 105,000 Hispanic households and 174,000 Hispanic viewers (P2+).
In addition to the success on ESPN Deportes, the MNF Hispanic audience on ESPN averaged 720,000 Hispanic households and 1,018,000 Hispanic viewers in 2013, increases of 11 percent and 10 percent, respectively, versus 2012 (649,000 households and 929,000 viewers).
NFL on ESPN Digital Platforms
ESPN Digital Media’s NFL content across all platforms – ESPN.com, mobile Web, apps and WatchESPN – during all 17 Monday Night Football games over 16 Mondays this season generated an average minute audience of 610,000, an increase of 31 percent compared to 2012. Monday’s Falcons-49ers game on WatchESPN logged 8.3 million live minutes, 131,000 unique viewers, and an average minute audience of 42,000, up 188 percent, 225 percent and 212 percent, respectively, compared to last season. Also on Monday, the ESPN SportsCenter app generated an average minute audience of nearly 138,000, up 55 percent over last year, and the ESPN Fantasy Football app logged an average minute audience of more than 153,000, up 92 percent.
MNF’s Tirico and Gruden to Call 2014 Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day
ESPN’s Monday Night Football team of Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden will return to the booth, along with reporter Lisa Salters, to call the 2014 Outback Bowl (Iowa vs. No. 16 LSU) at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on Wednesday, January 1, 2014, on ESPN and WatchESPN at 1 p.m. ET.