Ratings for Monday night’s Saints-Falcons game on ESPN are in, and they’re not pretty.
Thanks to the presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, which some analysts anticipated would draw record viewership, Monday Night Football pulled only a 5.7 overnight rating, down 36 percent from last year’s Week Three matchup, per Sports Media Watch.
The 5.7 is likely the lowest in the history of Monday Night Football. Complete overnight records were unavailable, but the lowest final rating in franchise history is a 5.1. No other MNF telecast has gone lower than 5.7 in the final nationals.
Unsurprisingly, Monday Night Football ratings peaked at 6.9 from 8:45-9 PM ET, just after the game started and before the debate started. MNF wasn’t helped by the fact the debate ran commercial-free and aired on multiple networks across the dial. Monday Night Football ratings have been bad all season, but obviously we can’t draw too many conclusions from this latest number, given the circumstances.
Meanwhile, the debate seems to have pulled the massive viewership everyone expected.
Debate overnight: 46.2/63 across four broadcast and three cable news networks.
Up 17% over first Obama-Romney debate on same networks
— Michael Mulvihill (@mulvihill79) September 27, 2016
Not everyone chose Clinton and Trump over Brees and Ryan, though. The city of New Orleans flocked to ESPN to watch its team lose to Atlanta 45-32.
In New Orleans, Falcons/Saints did a combined 38.3 rating (25.8 on WDSU-NBC/12.5 on ESPN)
— Sports TV Ratings (@SportsTVRatings) September 27, 2016
Awful Announcing’s fearless leader Ben Koo said before the debate he wanted to parlay the Saints and Clinton. At least he got half of that bet right.