As Odell Beckham Jr. showed the Jets how it’s done with an 89-yard career-long touchdown and with an eloquent one-handed grab earlier in the game. Take those feats plus add the Browns sacking their rivals QB a stunning four times, and the Ohio-team made it clear to everyone in FirstEnergy Stadium and watching at home on ESPN that their season opener loss to the Tennessee Titans was a mere bump in what could be a glorious road this season.
It was also a pretty consistently bright night for the Disney-owned cabler’s NFL flagship show with 11.8 million viewers tuning in for the blowout.
Not only did ESPN win the night in both cable and broadcast with that result, but the outlet actually saw a 1% uptick in audience over the comparable game of last season.
Up against the Sean Spice hyped 28th season opener of Dancing With the Stars on ABC, the 8.8 result that MNF had in metered markets also had a small rise of 2.3% over the melded early metrics average of last week’s season opener doubleheader.
More significant to ESPN, in a season that has already seen fluctuations in the ratings, last night’s Week 2 of this season’s MNF was up just over 7% from the Chicago Bears 24-17 win over 2014 Super Bowl champs the Seattle Seahawks on September 17, 2018 – the same day as the record low 70th Primetime Emmys on NBC.
This year’s MNF doubleheader season opener averaged 12 million viewers with the New Orleans Saints’ win over the Houston Texans snagging 13.08 million and the Oakland Raiders’ victory over the Denver Broncos pulling in around 10.61 million. Last year’s Bears vs. Seahawks game had a total of 11.7 million viewers for ESPN.
While the upticks look small game-to-game, across the season-to-season comparisons, MNF is up 14% in viewers over the three games of the first two weeks of this season up against 2018/2019. Or put another way, it’s an audience of 12.2 million this year vs. 10.7 million over the same span last season.