Monday Night Football The new ESPN Monday Night Football anthem debuted to rave reviews. (Credit: ESPN)

Bolstered by weekly simulcasts on ABC, ESPN’s Monday Night Football had its best season in two decades.

Per a Tuesday release, MNF averaged 17.363 million viewers in 2023, the package’s best average viewership since 2000. That stretch covers both the ESPN era (which began in 2006) and its final five seasons on ABC alone.

The average audience marked a 29% increase from 2022 and an 18% rise from 2010, the most-watched season in the ESPN era before this season.

Additionally, this season, Monday Night Football drew its four highest average game audiences since 2000. That list includes Eagles-Chiefs in Week 11 (29.026 million viewers), Ravens-49ers on Christmas Day (27.651 million), Lions-Cowboys on the Saturday of Week 17 (26.107 million), and Bills-Jets in Week 1 (22.670 million).

Across nine episodes, the ManningCast averaged 1.24 million viewers, which includes its second-largest audience ever for the Week 11 Eagles-Chiefs game (1.9 million).

The extra audience on ABC ended up helping Monday Night Football this season, but the package’s success is another example of incredible viewership for the NFL in 2023. Thursday Night Football on Prime Video was up 24% in its second season airing exclusively on the platform and the NFL on CBS also had its best season since the league returned to the network in 1998.


About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.