ESPN Scores Its Highest-Rated Monday Night Football Doubleheader Since 2015 – Overnight Rating Up 19 Percent


  • Texans-Saints up 24 percent – the highest-rated early game in ESPN’s opening doubleheader since 2015
  • Broncos-Raiders up 10 percent – the highest-rated late game in ESPN’s opening doubleheader since 2015

Monday Night Football’s 50th season opening-night doubleheader averaged a combined 8.6 overnight rating, resulting in a 19 percent increase year-over-year. This is the highest-rated MNF doubleheader since 2015.

Houston Texans vs. New Orleans Saints
The early game (7:15-10:30 p.m. ET) in ESPN’s Week 1 doubleheader – the regular season debut for ESPN’s new Monday Night Football commentator team and a thrilling New Orleans Saints’ 30-28 victory over the Houston Texans – earned a 9.3 overnight rating according to Nielsen, based on the metered markets. This is an increase of 24 percent year-over-year and ranks as the highest-rated early game in ESPN’s opening doubleheader since 2015. The game rating peaked from 10:15-10:30 p.m. ET with a 12.8 metered market rating.

Local markets: In Houston, the game delivered a combined 25.9 rating in the market (7.0 rating on ESPN). In New Orleans, the game delivered a combined 56.8 rating in the market (13.0 rating on ESPN).

The top metered markets (not including those of the competing teams): Denver (13.8), Kansas City (13.1), Jacksonville (12.8), Dallas-Ft. Worth (12.6), Buffalo and Richmond-Petersburg (12.4), San Diego (12.2), Las Vegas (12.1), Nashville (12.0), San Antonio and Tampa-St. Pete (11.6).

Denver Broncos vs. Oakland Raiders
The late game (10:30 p.m.-1:15 a.m. ET) in ESPN’s Week 1 doubleheader – an Oakland Raiders’ 24-16 victory over the Denver Broncos – earned a 7.7 overnight rating according to Nielsen, based on the metered markets. This is an increase of 10 percent year-over-year and ranks as the highest-rated late game in ESPN’s opening doubleheader since 2015. The game rating peaked from 10:30-10:45 p.m. ET with a 10.6 metered market rating.

Local markets: In Denver, the game delivered a combined 34.3 rating in the market (17.2 rating on ESPN). In San Francisco – this market includes Oakland and San Jose, the game delivered a combined 17.1 rating in the market (9.1 rating on ESPN).

The top metered markets (not including those of the competing teams): San Diego (17.1), Las Vegas (14.8), Sacramento (13.5), Albuquerque-Santa Fe (13.3), Los Angeles (12.7), New Orleans (11.8), Phoenix (11.7), Seattle-Tacoma (11.5), Salt Lake City (10.4), Jacksonville (10.2).

SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt
SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt delivered a 2.1 overnight rating, which is an 11 percent increase year-over-year.

Sunday NFL Countdown
ESPN’s Week 1 Sunday NFL Countdown delivered 1.6 million viewers, which is a 15 percent increase year-over-year.

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