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Monday Night Football Helps ESPN Win the Night in Households, Viewers and All Key Male and Adult Demos

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ESPN’s NFL Programming
Photos via ESPN Images

Jets-Lions and Rams-Raiders: Highest-Rated Telecasts of the Night across All Networks

Last night’s 2018 season-opening Monday Night Football doubleheader averaged 10.1 million viewers across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, according to Nielsen, helping ESPN win the night among all networks, broadcast or cable, in households, viewers and all key male and adult demos (18-34, 18-49, 25-54). Jets-Lions and Rams-Raiders were the two highest-rated telecasts of the night across all broadcast and cable networks.

New York Jets vs. Detroit Lions
The early game (7:15-10:15 p.m. ET) – a New York Jets’ 48-17 victory over the Detroit Lions – averaged 10.4 million viewers across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, according to Nielsen.

  • On ESPN, Jets-Lions averaged a 6.2 US household rating and 10.3 million viewers. The telecast peaked from 9:30-9:45 p.m. ET with a 7.6 US household rating and 12.8 million viewers.
  • On ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, Jets-Lions averaged an additional 112,000 viewers.

Local markets: In New York, the game delivered a 7.7 rating on ESPN and a 5.0 rating on WPIX-CW, for a combined 12.7 rating in the market. In Detroit, the game delivered an 8.7 rating on ESPN and a 16.7 on WXYZ-ABC, for a combined 25.4 rating in the market.

The top metered markets (not including those of the competing teams): New Orleans (12.1), Buffalo (11.8), Norfolk (11.7), Baltimore (10.0), Washington, DC and Minneapolis-St. Paul (9.9), Philadelphia (9.8), Jacksonville (9.2), West Palm Beach, Columbus and Hartford & New Haven (9.1).

Los Angeles Rams vs. Oakland Raiders
The late game (10:15 p.m.-1:30 a.m. ET) – the regular season debut for ESPN’s new Monday Night Football commentator team and a Los Angeles Rams’ 33-13 victory over the Oakland Raiders – averaged 9.7 million viewers across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, according to Nielsen.

  • On ESPN, Rams-Raiders averaged a 5.9 US household rating and 9.6 million viewers. The telecast peaked from 10:45-11 p.m. ET with a 7.5 US household rating and 12.5 million viewers.
  • On ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, Rams-Raiders averaged an additional 102,000 viewers.

Local markets: In Los Angeles, the game delivered a 10.1 rating on ESPN and a 6.6 rating on KABC-ABC, for a combined 16.7 rating in the market. In San Francisco (this market includes Oakland and San Jose), the game delivered a 9.9 rating on ESPN and a 9.2 on KGO-ABC, for a combined 19.1 rating in the market.

The top metered markets (not including those of the competing teams): Sacramento (14.0), New Orleans (12.3), San Diego (11.8), Las Vegas (11.1), Seattle-Tacoma (11.0), Phoenix (10.6), Portland (9.1), Albuquerque-Santa Fe (9.0), Kansas City (8.4), Denver, Philadelphia and San Antonio (8.1).

Additionally, the Week 1 post-game SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt is up five percent year-over-year (2,211,000 vs. 2,112,000 viewers).

Week 2 on ESPN’s MNF: The Chicago Bears host the Seattle Seahawks on Sept. 17.

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