ESPN’s Monday Night Football season finale featuring Buffalo at New England generated an audience of 14,447,000 viewers across ESPN and ABC providing the franchise with its second best viewership of the season based on Nielsen’s initial reporting.
The audience also was up 6% from last year’s Week 16 presentation (Green Bay at Minnesota) only on ESPN, jolting MNF to a sixth consecutive week of year-over-year viewership increases and capping off a season where the majority of weeks experienced year-over-year audience growth.
In the final six weeks of the regular season, Monday Night Football averaged 12.9 million viewers per game (Nov. 23 and 30, Dec. 7, 14, 21 and 28) based on Nielsen’s initial reporting, which doesn’t include full streaming audience, a 16% increase from the franchise’s first 10 weeks (11 games between Sept. 14-Nov. 16) in which the franchise averaged 11.1 million viewers per game, based on the same Nielsen initial reporting.
Each of these individual weeks’ MNF audience (NFL Weeks 11 thru 16) was higher than the same week during the 2019 season.
Looking at the totality of the season, Monday Night Football grew its audience year-over-year in nine of 16 weeks and, inclusive of all games, MNF’s season average is 11.8 million viewers a game based on next day viewing. This year’s audience figure is only 300,000 viewers shy, per game, off last year’s same reporting schedule (-2.5%).
When the full streaming audience is accounted for, MNF viewership vaults to approximately 12.24 million viewers per game (Nielsen data available through 16 games, plus ESPN’s projection for game 17), which represents a similar small percentage decrease from last year’s pace as the initial reporting.
Monday Night Football was consistently Monday’s most-watched program on television (broadcast and cable), achieving the title in 15 of 16 Mondays of the season. The franchise also drove ESPN to be the most-watched network in primetime in the same 15 weeks among all key demos M18-34, M18-49, M25-54, P18-34, P18-49, P25-54. On cable, Monday Night Football was once again the most-watched series of the year, per Nielsen.