Starting with the Week 1 doubleheader on September 11 and running through Week 9 on November 6, viewers will see Monday Night Football in Spanish on ESPN2. It will be the same feed that’s aired on ESPN Deportes. It gives Monday Night Football en Español a bigger audience. John Ourand from Sports Business Daily reports that ESPN2 will carry the first ten games of the schedule.
ESPN Deportes is currently in 5.9 million Hispanic households while ESPN2 is in 88 million homes so MNF in Spanish will be seen by more Americans this season. Since 2006, ESPN Deportes has carried Monday Night Football. Alvaro Martin and Raúl Allegre call the games with John Sutcliffe roaming the sidelines.
Beginning in Week 2, ESPN2 will simulcast ESPN Deportes’ programming from 8 p.m. to midnight ET with the pregame show (“NFL Esta Noche”) and its SportsCenter show produced from Mexico City following the game.
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This isn’t the first time that ESPN/ESPN2 has simulcast ESPN Deportes for a sporting event. Back in 2013, ESPN2 carried a few games of ESPN Deportes’ feed of the World Baseball Classic and did so again earlier this year for the WBC final which drew the wrath of some viewers. It also aired the Spanish language feed of the International Championship Cup match in July between Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Neither event drew spectacular numbers, but it’s an opportunity to give ESPN2 some live NFL programming and perhaps add to ESPN’s MNF ratings. The NFL signed off on the move in hopes of attracting more Hispanic fans.
ESPN2 will stop carrying MNF after November 6. The network has college basketball commitments afterwards, but network executives are hopeful that they can air the entire season in the future.
Last season, ESPN2 aired poker and 30 for 30 documentaries opposite MNF on the Mothership so airing the NFL will provide the Deuce with some live programming for the first half of the season.
[Sports Business Daily (subscription req.)]