As Blood, Sweat & Tears once sang, “What goes up must come down.” And that hard truth is exactly what happened last night on Monday Night Football. After hitting a near-4-year high in metered markets ratings a week ago, ESPN’s powerhouse NFL show came crashing down last night to an 8.5 result and a season low. The Indianapolis Colts’ lopsided 40-24 victory over the New York Giants fell a smashing 29% from last week’s Washington Redskins-Dallas Cowboys overtime game.
That said, last week’s strong 21.1 metered market result was a bit of an anomaly in a season that has seen MNF striving to gain traction over last year. ESPN’s opener between the Giants and the Detroit Lions on September 8 drew a 9.2 in the metered markets, a 21% stumble from the record-breaking previous season opener between the Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles.
The previous season low before last night’s blowout was the San Francisco 49ers’ 31-17 victory over the St. Louis Rams on October 14, which drew an 8.6 in MM ratings. While not a direct contrast and out of ESPN’s regular schedule, the second game of ESPN’s Week 1 doubleheader actually fared worse: With a 10:15 PM ET start, the Arizona Cardinals’ 18-17 victory over the San Diego Chargers snagged a 7.8 in metered markets.
As we waiting for more MNF ratings, here are the Top 10 local markets from last night: Tops was unsurprisingly Indianapolis, which had a 14.0 MM result, which New York was last among the Top 10 with an 8.6. The remaining eight markets were Las Vegas (14.8), Seattle (13.0), New Orleans (12.9), San Diego (11.7), Richmond, VA (10.7), Sacramento (10.5), Philadelphia (10.4), Jacksonville (10.0), West Palm Beach (9.9) and Phoenix (9.9).