‘Monday Night Football’ Opener Smashes ESPN Viewership Record As Seattle Stops Denver

·2 min read

Up against former teammate Russell Wilson and his new Denver Broncos crew, the Seattle Seahawks desperately wanted a win last night at home.

With a 17-16 result on Monday Night Football, they got one — and so did ESPN, ABC and the NFL.

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In one for the books, last night’s primetime gridiron matchup in Jet City was watched by 19.9 million viewers.

To capture the magnitude of that Monday audience, MNF’s viewership was 236% greater than the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards over on NBC at the same time. In fact, while the Emmys hit an all-time low, the ESPN, ABC, ESPN2, ESPN+ and ESPN Deportes broadcast game has proven to be the third-most-watched MNF since 2009. The Seahawks’ win over Denver and Wilson also was the fourth-most-viewed NFL regular season game ever on the Disney-owned sports cabler.

For you sports trivia nuts (putting my own hand up here), the all-time record is held by the October 5, 2009, battle between the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers in Wisconsin. That game saw the Vikings win 30-23 and 21.84 million tune in.

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Looking back year-to-year, the 2022 MNF kickoff was up 16% from last year’s Las Vegas Raiders 33-27 overtime win over the Baltimore Ravens. Last night also saw the debut of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman delivering commentary from the MNF broadcast booth and the 11th season of Lisa Salters getting the info from the sidelines.

And here’s the deal: Week 2 of MNF for the 2022 season will have a good chance of blowing the wig off this week. Doubling down, literally and figuratively, sports-heavy Disney will have the Tennessee Titans up against the Buffalo Bills at 7:15 p.m. ET on ESPN and the Vikings taking on the Philadelphia Eagles at 8:30 p.m.ET on ABC.

Someone should hand out an Emmy now to whoever scheduled that.

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