ESPN Monday Night Football Raiders-Ravens opener draws 15.3 million

Quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens throws in opposition to the Las Vegas Raiders in the course of the first half of their recreation at Allegiant Stadium on September 13, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Chris Unger | Getty Images

The National Football League ended the primary week of its 2021 common season drawing a mean of 15.29 million viewers throughout ESPN channels, together with ABC community, for the Monday Night Football opener between the Las Vegas Raiders and Baltimore Ravens.

The Raiders beat the Ravens 33-27 in a back-and-forth time beyond regulation recreation with a number of twists to conclude Week 1. Viewership was up 42% in comparison with final yr’s recreation, and high markets included Baltimore, Las Vegas, Sacramento, Kansas City, and San Diego.

The 2020 MNF contest between the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers attracted a mean of solely 10.76 million viewers. With the pandemic taking part in an element, that game was down roughly 17% in comparison with the primary recreation of ESPN’s 2019 Week 1 doubleheader, which featured the New Orleans Saints and Houston Texans and averaged 13.2 million viewers on ESPN channels.

On Monday, ESPN additionally debuted its alternate MegaCast that includes Peyton and Eli Manning offering commentary for the Raiders-Ravens recreation on its ESPN2 channel. The telecast attracted 800,000 viewers. The Manning brothers signed a three-year cope with Disney-owned ESPN which is able to function the pair providing their ideas and in-game breakdowns in the course of the NFL season.

Cleveland Browns working again Nick Chubb (24) finds a gap within the line in opposition to the Kansas City Chiefs on September twelfth at GEHA discipline at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.

William Purnell | Icon Sportswire | Getty Images

Meanwhile, Sunday’s nationwide NFL recreation on ViacomCBS that includes the Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs averaged 19.53 million viewers. It was the most-watched opening weekend nationwide recreation on CBS because the 2015 opener between the Ravens and Denver Broncos contest (23.28 million viewers).

Fox Sports’ averaged 16.23 million viewers for its Green Bay Packers vs. New Orleans Saints nationwide recreation. That’s down from final yr’s nationwide opener between the Saints and Tampa Bay Bucs, which featured a star quarterback matchup between Drew Brees and Tom Brady, and averaged 25.8 million viewers.

The community entered the NFL opener after drawing 7.7 million viewers for its Saturday Oregon vs Ohio State faculty recreation.

The NFL commenced its 102nd season final Thursday with a mean of 26 million complete viewers for its Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Dallas Cowboys contest. NBC mentioned the sport peaked on TV at 25.4 million viewers between 9:45 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET. The 2021 opener marked a 20% enhance in complete viewership from final yr’s NFL kickoff that includes the Chiefs and Texans.

Overall, the NFL mentioned it is Week 1 video games mixed averaged 17.4 million viewers, and drew “approximately” 100 million viewers in complete throughout all video games.

Disclosure: NBC Sports, which shares father or mother firm NBCUniversal with CNBC, broadcasts NFL video games.

Correction: This article was revised to right the rating to 33-27.

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