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Saturday, September 25, 2021

ESPN’s Monday Night Football opener draws 15.3 million viewers for Ravens-Raiders overtime game

Quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens throws towards the Las Vegas Raiders through the first half of their game at Allegiant Stadium on September 13, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Chris Unger | Getty Images

The National Football League ended the primary week of its 2021 common season drawing a mean of 15.29 million viewers throughout ESPN channels, together with ABC community, for the Monday Night Football opener between the Las Vegas Raiders and Baltimore Ravens.

The Raiders beat the Ravens 33-21 in a back-and-forth overtime game with a number of twists to conclude Week 1. Viewership was up 42% in comparison with final yr’s game, and prime markets included Baltimore, Las Vegas, Sacramento, Kansas City, and San Diego.

The 2020 MNF contest between the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers attracted a mean of solely 10.76 million viewers. With the pandemic taking part in an element, that game was down roughly 17% in comparison with the primary game of ESPN’s 2019 Week 1 doubleheader, which featured the New Orleans Saints and Houston Texans and averaged 13.2 million viewers on ESPN channels.

On Monday, ESPN additionally debuted its alternate MegaCast that includes Peyton and Eli Manning offering commentary for the Raiders-Ravens game on its ESPN2 channel. The telecast attracted 800,000 viewers. The Manning brothers signed a three-year cope with Disney-owned ESPN which can function the pair providing their ideas and in-game breakdowns through the NFL season.

Cleveland Browns operating again Nick Chubb (24) finds a gap within the line towards the Kansas City Chiefs on September twelfth at GEHA subject at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.

William Purnell | Icon Sportswire | Getty Images

Meanwhile, Sunday’s nationwide NFL game on ViacomCBS that includes the Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs averaged 19.53 million viewers. It was the most-watched opening weekend nationwide game on CBS for the reason that 2015 opener between the Ravens and Denver Broncos contest (23.28 million viewers).

Fox Sports’ averaged 16.23 million viewers for its Green Bay Packers vs. New Orleans Saints nationwide game. That’s down from final yr’s nationwide opener between the Saints and Tampa Bay Bucs, which featured a star quarterback matchup between Drew Brees and Tom Brady, and averaged 25.8 million viewers.

The community entered the NFL opener after drawing 7.7 million viewers for its Saturday Oregon vs Ohio State faculty game.

The NFL commenced its 102nd season final Thursday with a mean of 26 million whole viewers for its Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Dallas Cowboys contest. NBC mentioned the game peaked on TV at 25.4 million viewers between 9:45 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET. The 2021 opener marked a 20% enhance in whole viewership from final yr’s NFL kickoff that includes the Chiefs and Texans.

Overall, the NFL mentioned it is Week 1 video games mixed averaged 17.4 million viewers, and drew “approximately” 100 million viewers in whole throughout all video games.

Disclosure: NBC Sports, which shares dad or mum firm NBCUniversal with CNBC, broadcasts NFL video games.

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