Skip to main content

The New MNF Ratings Are Up, Because People Like Drama?

Sports drama beats fictional drama.

There’s no better drama than sports drama, clearly. And the proof is in the ratings.

MNF returned with the first Monday Night Football game of the season and a whole new look, with Troy Aikman and Joe Buck in the ESPN booth. On top of the new names, they also got something even more important when it comes to ratings, a great game, with the Seattle Seahawks beating the self-destructing Denver Broncos, in a game that saw QB Russell Wilson’s return to Seattle.

Just the pre-game drama of Wilson returning to face the team that just traded him, in the place he called his home for so many seasons, was enough. But then there was the Broncos just totally sabotaging themselves over and over again during red zone situations, and the entire game was like a trainwreck you couldn’t look away from. And the ratings were on MNF’s side – even going against the Emmys.

In fact, for all that football usually reigns supreme, ratings-wise, it’s unlikely anyone expected this kind of trouncing on MNF, at least outside of the field. Almost four times as many viewers as the Emmys? MNF’s biggest Week 1 game since getting MNF in 2006? ESPN is surely not complaining, and they must be feeling great about their choices going into week two, which will see the Vikings and the Eagles face off on Monday.

And, if the games can continue to deliver the kind of drama people are clearly interested in, it’s shaping up to be a fun NFL season, for everyone.