Fast Start for ESPN in 2022 in Viewership and Social Media Engagements





Fast Start for ESPN in 2022 in Viewership and Social Media Engagements
The network led cable in viewership and in the key P18-49 demo by wide margins in both prime time and total day and took total ownership of the list of cable’s most-watched 10 shows in that demo.
[via press release from ESPN]
Fast Start for ESPN in 2022 in Viewership and Social Media Engagements

Best Start in Prime Time in Over a Decade

College Football Playoff Games, Monday Night Football Boost Network to Top of Cable

Propelled by cable television’s annually most-watched three programs – the College Football Playoff Semifinals and Championship – and Monday Night Football including the inaugural Week 18 doubleheader last Saturday, as well as the performance of many studio shows, ESPN is off to its best start in years after two weeks in 2022. The network led cable in viewership and in the key P18-49 demo by wide margins in both prime time and total day and took total ownership of the list of cable’s most-watched 10 shows in that demo. (L+SD) Accordingly, ESPN also led all sports media companies in those two weeks in social media engagements.

For Nielsen’s 2022 to date (Dec. 27 – Jan. 10), ESPN is off to its best start:

· In prime time among all viewers (P2+) — since 2011.

· In prime time among P18-49 – since 2017

· In total day among all viewers – since 2017

· In total day among P18-49 – since 2017

In that time, ESPN outperformed all cable competitors and attracted an audience up to eight times larger than the next best performing network among all viewers and in the key P18-49 sales demo in both prime time and total day:

· In prime time, ESPN was the No. 1 cable network among P2+, 245% higher than second-place Fox News Channel.

· In prime time, ESPN was the No. 1 cable network among P18-49, 766% higher than second-place TBS.

· In total day, ESPN was the No. 1 cable network among P2+, 71% higher than second-place Fox News Channel.

· In total day, ESPN was the No. 1 cable network among P18-49, 391% higher than second-place TBS.

In those two weeks, ESPN aired nine of cable’s 10 -most viewed programs (P2+), led by the College Football Playoff Championship in which Georgia defeated Alabama 33-18, the two college semifinals and the Rose Bowl. Among P18-49, ESPN aired all of the top 10 most-watched programs.

As is often the case, big events led to big audiences for ESPN studio shows. The combination of the end to the NFL season on January 9 and the College Football Playoff Championship the next day served as the catalyst to a number of notably large audiences for a number of shows on January 10:

· Get Up had its most-viewed show ever – 620K viewers.

· PTI had its most-viewed show since January 9, 2018 – 1.1M viewers.

· Around the Horn had its most-viewed show since November 15, 2019 – 670K viewers.

· First Take had its most-viewed show since February 3, 2020 – 697K viewers.

· The 12 a.m. SportsCenter after the national championship was the most-viewed SportsCenter since January 1, 2021 – 3.8M viewers.

In the social media space, over the same period of time, ESPN Social was No. 1 in total engagement among sports media companies with 170.1M engagements across Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and Twitter.

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2022 College Football Playoff National Championship Nets 22.6 Million Viewers





2022 College Football Playoff National Championship Nets 22.6 Million Viewers, Cable’s Top Telecast in Two Years
The Dawgs’ thrilling 33-18 victory over the SEC Champion Crimson Tide was up 19 percent from last year’s national championship contest between Alabama and Ohio State.
[via press release from ESPN]
2022 College Football Playoff National Championship Nets 22.6 Million Viewers, Cable’s Top Telecast in Two Years

· Champ Game Up 19 Percent vs. Last Year

· ESPN Telecasts Four Most-Viewed College Football Games of the 2021-22 Season

The 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship was one for the record books, as Georgia secured its first national title since 1980. The viewership of ESPN’s MegaCast presentation reflected the excitement surrounding the Alabama-Georgia showdown, with 22.6 million viewers tuning in across ESPN networks.

The Dawgs’ thrilling 33-18 victory over the SEC Champion Crimson Tide was up 19 percent from last year’s national championship contest between Alabama and Ohio State. The matchup peaked with 25.4 million viewers.

The Circle City showdown is the top event on cable since the 2020 LSU/Clemson national championship game and the most-viewed non-NFL sporting event during that span on any network. In fact, the top five non-NFL sports events during that time have been CFP Semifinal and Championship games.

The main ESPN telecast of Monday night’s showcase is the second-most-viewed non-NFL telecast (sports or non-sports) on a single network since February 2020. ESPN’s presentation of the action from Indianapolis is the most-watched TWDC telecast since the 2021 NFL Wild Card Game.

The share of TV viewers tuned in to this year’s CFP National Championship on ESPN networks was the best on record in the CFP era. 29 percent of people and 38 percent of adults 18-49 watching television Monday night were tuned in to the CFP National Championship.

Streaming Creates MegaCast Magic

Across all ESPN3/ESPN App exclusive feeds, streaming minutes were up 33 percent over 2020. Outside of the linear telecasts, Alabama’s Hometown Radio MegaCast was the most-streamed feed for both uniques and minutes. The Alabama and Georgia Hometown Radio MegaCast viewing options saw substantial year-over-year gains across AMA (up 75 percent), uniques (up 30 percent), minutes (up 85 percent), starts (up 20 percent) and minutes/viewer (up 35 percent).

New Year’s Six and National Championship Up Double Digits YOY

The New Year’s Six and CFP National Championship were up 16 percent over last year’s edition, notching 14.2 million average viewers across the seven games. The CFP semifinals and national championship game registered 18.9 million average viewers, on par with last year’s CFP when the semifinals were on New Year’s Day.

This year’s New Year’s Six finished up double digits year-over-year, averaging 12.7 million viewers, and every bowl of the 2021 New Year’s Six surpassed 7.5 million viewers for just the third time of the CFP era. The non-Semifinal New Year’s Six bowls recorded nearly 11 million viewers per game, ranking third out of the eight years of the CFP.

Putting A Bow on Bowl Season

Bowl Season delivered in the 2021-22 season, with 29 of 31 non-NY6 bowls this season surpassing one million viewers. Eighteen bowls drew more than two million viewers and nine topped three million. The 31 non-NY6 bowl games registered 2.6 million viewers across ESPN networks, up 12 percent year-over-year. On ESPN, bowl games recorded 2.5 million viewers per game, up 24 percent from 2020 and slightly up from 2019. Of the 27 bowls with a viewership comparison to 2019, 10 had their best audience since at least 2017 and seven had their best since at least 2015.

Across the regular season and postseason, ESPN networks delivered the four most-viewed games of the 2021-22 season (CFP National Championship, both CFP Semifinals and The Rose Bowl Game) and 59 of the top 100 games overall. ESPN networks were responsible for 62 percent of live game college football minutes viewed this season across all nationally measured linear networks.

– 30 –



ESPN’s “Monday Night Football: Doubleheader Saturday” Debut Registers Viewership





ESPN’s “Monday Night Football: Doubleheader Saturday” Debut Registers Viewership of 20.3 Million for Cowboys-Eagles and 19.1 Million for Chiefs-Broncos, ESPN’s Most-Watched NFL Regular Season Games in More than a Decade
The Cowboys and Eagles generated an audience of 20.3 million viewers on ESPN, ABC, ESPN Deportes, while the Chiefs-Broncos delivered 19.1 million viewers across the same networks.
[via press release from ESPN]
ESPN’s “Monday Night Football: Doubleheader Saturday” Debut Registers Viewership of 20.3 Million for Cowboys-Eagles and 19.1 Million for Chiefs-Broncos, ESPN’s Most-Watched NFL Regular Season Games in More than a Decade

· Monday Night Football Finishes 2021 Regular Season with Franchise’s Best Viewership in 11 Seasons, Averaging 14 Million Viewers; Up 16% over 2020 and 13% from 2019

· Cowboys-Eagles: Most-Watched MNF Game Since 2009; Third Best in ESPN Era

· Chiefs-Broncos: ESPN’s Fifth Best Most-Watched MNF Game

· MNF Finishes Regular Season Averaging 14.2 Million Viewers Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli Shattered ESPN’s Alternate Telecast Viewership Records

· Cardinals- Rams Set for Inaugural Monday Night Wild Card as Part of Super Wild Card Weekend

ESPN’s first NFL Week 18 Monday Night Football: Doubleheader Saturday (January 8) was one for the records, as the Dallas Cowboys-Philadelphia Eagles (8:15 p.m. ET) and Kansas City Chiefs-Denver Broncos (4:30 p.m. ET) become two of the five most-watched Monday Night Football games in the ESPN era (274 games since 2006). Both are ESPN’s best regular season NFL audiences in more than a decade. Monday Night Football: Doubleheader Saturday elevated MNF regular season viewership to an average of 14,182,000 million viewer a game (19 games), the best regular season viewership for ESPN since 2010 and the third best since 2006.

The Cowboys and Eagles generated an audience of 20.3 million viewers on ESPN, ABC, ESPN Deportes, while the Chiefs-Broncos delivered 19.1 million viewers across the same networks, resulting in a Doubleheader Saturday average of 19.7 million viewers

For the Cowboys-Eagles, with an ESPN and ABC only audience of 20,200,000 viewers, the NFC East showdown becomes MNF’s most-watched regular season game in 12 years (2009 season) and the third most-watched MNF game in the ESPN era. For the Chiefs-Broncos, with 19,098,000 viewers on ESPN and ABC, the AFC West matchup is the most-watched all-AFC matchup in ESPN’s MNF era and the fifth most-watched game in ESPN’s MNF era, including the aforementioned Cowboys-Eagles game.

More Doubleheader Saturday Highlights

· With the exception of the Cowboys-Eagles on the same day, Chiefs-Broncos is the most-watched MNF game since 2010

· Chiefs-Broncos peaked at 24.7 million viewers in the fourth quarter and Cowboys-Chiefs at 23.4 million viewers late in the first half

Monday Night Football Most-Watched Games (ESPN Era)
Rank Game Viewership Date
1 Minnesota at Green Bay 21,839,000 October 5, 2009
2 New England at New Orleans 21,402,000 Nov. 30, 2009
3 Dallas at Philadelphia^ 20,207,000 January 8, 2022
4 New Orleans at Atlanta 19,137,000 Dec. 27, 2010
5 Kansas City at Denver^ 19,098,000 January 8, 2022
6 Washington at Dallas 18,809,000 October 27, 2014
7 Detroit at Dallas 18,611,000 Dec. 26, 2016
8 Philadelphia at Dallas 18,608,000 Sept. 15, 2008
^on ESPN and ABC

Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams in Monday Night Wild Card

ESPN will air the Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams (Monday, Jan. 17, 8 p.m.) in the debut of Monday night Wild Card and concluding Super Wild Card Weekend. The showdown between the NFC’s top Wild Card seed and the NFC West Champions will have a MegaCast production, with traditional telecast available on ESPN, ABC, and ESPN+, Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli on ESPN2 and ESPN+ and Between the Lines on ESPN+. More on ESPN’s coverage of the game will be announced this week.

Monday Night Football Caps Steller Regular Season

In addition to delivering the Monday Night Football’s best regular season since 2010, the franchise was up 16% from 2020 (17 games) and 13% from 2019 (17 games). Of the NFL media rights holders who carried an exclusive game each week of the season, ESPN’s percentage increases this season over 2020 and 2019, were the highest. The franchise, compared to the 2020 season, was up in every key demo, including Persons 18-49 (10%), Persons 25-54 (12%), and Females (19%)

Prior to Doubleheader Saturday, Monday Night Football had already established its best viewership in nearly a decade based on its traditional weekday schedule, which was previously documented.

Note: For 2021 season, season average includes viewership on ESPN for every game, ABC (five games), and ESPN2, (10 games). Previous seasons comparisons include ABC/ESPN2 when applicable Monday Night Football 2021 Season Highlights:

· For the first time in a single season, ESPN’s MNF slate featured five games with more than 16 million viewers; Those same five games represent five of the nine most-watched games since the 2014 season
· Week 1: Ravens-Raiders
· Week 14: Rams-Cardinals
· Week 15: Vikings-Bears
· Week 18: Chiefs-Broncos
· Week 18: Cowboys-Eagles

· Ravens-Raiders was the most-watched Week 1 MNF game in the ESPN era

· Peyton and Eli Raise the Bar for Alternate Telecast Viewership

Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli rewrote ESPN’s record books when it comes to alternate telecasts, as the critically-acclaimed show now holds ESPN’s record for the eight most-watched alternate telecasts (More than 60+ since 2014). The show’s regular season high came with 1.96 million viewers (New York Giants at Kansas City, Week 8) and also hit 1.9 million on two other occasions (Philadelphia at Dallas, Week 3 and Detroit at Green Bay, Week 2). Overall, the nine episodes averaged 1.6 million viewers.

ESPN’s Most-Watched Alternate Telecasts (2014-Present)
Rank Alternate Telecast Matchup Date Viewership
1. Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli Giants-Chiefs November 1, 2021 (Week 8) 1.96 million viewers
2. Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli Eagles-Cowboys September 27, 2021 (Week 3) 1.89 million viewers
3. Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli Lions-Packers September 20, 2021 (Week 2) 1.86 million viewers
4. Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli Patriots-Bills December 6, 2021 (Week 13) 1.63 million viewers
5. Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli Saints-Seahawks October 25, 2021 (Week 7) 1.61 million viewers
6. Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli Giants-Buccaneers November 22, 2021 (Week 11) 1.58 million viewers
7. Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli Rams-49ers November 15, 2021 (Week 10) 1.55 million viewers
8. Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli Browns-Steelers January 3, 2022 (Week 17) 1.48 million viewers

ESPN’s Monday Night Football Individual Game Highlights:

Week Matchup ESPN Audience + ABC/ESPN2 when applicable Superlative(s)

Week 1 Ravens-Raiders 16,974,000 viewers

· Most-watched MNF game since 2016 (68 games)

· Most-watched MNF Week 1 game in the ESPN era (2006-present)

Week 2 Lions-Packers 13,762,000 viewers

· Second-most-watched MNF Week 2 game since 2014

Week 3 Eagles-Cowboys 14,948,000 viewers

· Most-watched MNF Week 3 presentation since 2012

Week 7 Saints-Seahawks 12,899,000 viewers

· Most-watched MNF Week 7 game since 2014

Week 8 Giants-Chiefs 14,034,000 viewers

· MNF’s best Week 8 audience since 2014

Week 9 Bears-Steelers 12,197,000 viewers

· Second-best MNF Week 9 audience since 2014

Week 10 49ers-Rams 12,354,000 viewers

· Second-best MNF Week 10 audience since 2012

Week 13 Patriots-Bills 15,081,000 viewers

· MNF’s top Week 13 audience since 2013

Week 14 Rams-Cardinals 16,070,000 viewers

· MNF’s second-best audience in 28 games, dating back to Week 2 of the 2020 season (New Orleans at Las Vegas)

Week 15 Vikings-Bears 16,075,000 viewers

· MNF’s highest Week 15 audience since 2011

Week 17 Browns-Steelers 13,256,000 viewers

· MNF’s first Week 17 game on ESPN

Week 18* Chiefs-Broncos 19,098,000 viewers

· Most-watched all-AFC matchup in ESPN’s MNF era and the fifth most-watched game in ESPN’s MNF era

Week 18* Cowboys-Eagles 20,207,000 viewers

· MNF’s most-watched regular season game in 12 years (2009 season) and the third most-watched MNF game in the ESPN era

*Saturday game

Viewership reported by Nielsen for ESPN includes streaming audience across some ESPN, NFL and Yahoo Sports properties; audience figures for ESPN+ are not included in the audience reporting; ESPN Deportes viewership is not included in any comparisons.

Viewership figures may be updated from initial release, reflecting revised Nielsen reporting.

-30-



ESPN Unveils New “Sunday Night Baseball” Strategy as First Year of MLB Rights Extension Begins





ESPN Unveils New “Sunday Night Baseball” Strategy as First Year of MLB Rights Extension Begins
ESPN has reached a multi-year agreement with five-time World Series Champion and former Cy Young Award winner David Cone.
[via press release from ESPN]
ESPN Unveils New “Sunday Night Baseball” Strategy as First Year of MLB Rights Extension Begins

Five-time World Series Champion and Cy Young Award Winner David Cone Joins ESPN, Teams Up with Fourth-ever SNB Play-by-Play Voice Karl Ravech and Analyst Eduardo Perez to Form New Booth

Three-time M.V.P. and World Series Champion Alex Rodriguez Joins Veteran Commentator Michael Kay for Eight Sunday Night Baseball with Kay-Rod Special Presentations on ESPN2, Plus Additional Exclusive Game Broadcasts

Sunday Night Baseball with Kay-Rod Continues Longstanding Tradition of ESPN Creating Unique Alternate Presentations across Sports Dating Back to 2006

ESPN today announced its new coverage strategy for Sunday Night Baseball – the exclusive, national Major League Baseball game of the week – as it begins the first year of a long-term MLB rights extension. ESPN has reached a multi-year agreement with five-time World Series Champion and former Cy Young Award winner David Cone. The veteran pitcher and YES Network analyst will team up with Karl Ravech, who becomes just the fourth-ever Sunday Night Baseball play-by-play voice, as well as veteran analyst, player and coach Eduardo Perez, to form the new Sunday Night Baseball broadcast booth.

For both Ravech and Perez, the new roles are part of long-term contract extensions with ESPN. Along with Cone, the trio will call the premier MLB regular-season broadcast package – ESPN’s 25 Sunday Night Baseball telecasts – as well as additional exclusive games during the season, including MLB Opening Night.

Alex Rodriguez and Michael Kay Join Forces for Sunday Night Baseball with Kay-Rod

Special Presentations

As part of ESPN’s overall Sunday Night Baseball coverage strategy, it’s launching Sunday Night Baseball with Kay-Rod – a special viewing presentation to air on ESPN2 alongside the traditional ESPN game telecast for eight Sunday Night Baseball games. The presentations will feature World Series Champion and analyst Alex Rodriguez and YES Network play-by-play voice and ESPN Radio host Michael Kay. Rodriguez, who hit 696 home runs and won three M.V.P. awards in his storied career, has also reached a multi-year contract extension with ESPN and returns for his fifth season as an analyst.

The eight Sunday Night Baseball with Kay-Rod presentations on ESPN2 will coincide with ESPN’s highest-profile rivalry games, including the New York Yankees vs. the Boston Red Sox. In addition to discussion and analysis, the telecasts will integrate fantasy baseball, predictive analytics and special guests tied to the game.

Rodriguez and Kay will appear on site for select games, while appearing live from their home studios for other games. Rodriguez and Kay will also serve as ESPN’s main broadcast team for two exclusive ESPN MLB regular-season games. Sunday Night Baseball with Kay-Rod is the latest in ESPN’s long, multi-platform history of special viewing presentations dating back to 2006 across its MLB, NBA, College Football, College Basketball, NFL and Little League properties, among others.

Norby Williamson, ESPN Executive Vice President & Executive Editor, Production:

“As we begin our next chapter of baseball coverage, we aim to maximize the value of this new rights agreement by prioritizing innovation and compelling storytelling. We welcome David Cone to ESPN and believe he and Eduardo Perez will offer a master class in contemporary analysis, including Statcast-driven data and discussion. Karl Ravech, who has been our “Mr. Baseball” for three decades, will lead the booth with the command and credibility that he’s displayed throughout his career. I’m equally excited for the duo of Alex Rodriguez and Michael Kay to team up and offer fans a new, engaging experience. The innovative Sunday Night Baseball with Kay-Rod presentations will be informative and entertaining and play a crucial role in our overall Sunday Night Baseball content offerings. We’re grateful for the collaboration with the YES Network and look forward to starting the 2022 season.”

If the MLB Wild Card Series returns in 2022, the event will be fully exclusive to ESPN platforms and both new commentator teams will contribute to coverage.

The reporting trio of ESPN senior MLB insider Buster Olney, senior writer Marly Rivera and analyst and 2022 BBWAA Career Excellence Award winner Tim Kurkjian, will make regular contributions to ESPN’s overall baseball coverage on Sundays, including on Sunday Night Baseball, Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown, BBTN Live on ESPN digital platforms, and ESPN Radio’s Sunday Night Baseball broadcasts.

Ravech and Perez at ESPN

Ravech, who joined ESPN in 1993, has led ESPN’s cross-platform baseball coverage for nearly 30 years. In recent years, Ravech has served as the lead play-by-play commentator for ESPN’s non-Sunday Night Baseball game coverage, the Home Run Derby, Little League Baseball World Series, the Men’s College Baseball World Series as well as contributing to Men’s College Basketball. Perez, who was at ESPN from 2006-2010 before returning in 2014, has served as one of ESPN’s premier baseball analysts. He has regularly teamed with Ravech on the aforementioned baseball events, as well as Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown. For more about Ravech and Perez, visit ESPN Press Room.

Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown Hits the Road

Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown, will hit the road in 2022 for a dozen on-site pre-game shows leading into Sunday Night Baseball. Karl Ravech will continue to host Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown on the road. Ravech will be joined by ESPN’s deep roster of MLB analysts and reporters, including Jessica Mendoza, Eduardo Perez, David Cone, Marly Rivera, Doug Glanville, Buster Olney, Tim Kurkjian, Jeff Passan and Jesse Rogers.

ESPN Radio will document the 2022 Major League Baseball season, including on Sunday Night Baseball and culminating with its 25th World Series. Jon “Boog” Sciambi will enter his 13th season as ESPN Radio’s Sunday Night Baseball play-by-play voice. ESPN analyst Doug Glanville will join the ESPN Radio team for his first season as analyst, teaming up with Sciambi. Coverage will also include reports from Marly Rivera, Buster Olney and Tim Kurkjian.

Baseball Tonight’s digital pregame show, BBTN Live, will return for its third season, previewing the highest-profile Sunday Night Baseball games. The team of host Gary Striewski, The Undefeated’s Clinton Yates and baseball writer Joon Lee will provide commentary. BBTN Live is available on ESPN’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram platforms generally 30 minutes prior to the game.

The 2022 Sunday Night Baseball schedules for ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes will be announced in the coming weeks.

-30-



ESPN’s 2021 “Monday Night Football” Traditional Schedule Delivers Franchise’s Best Viewership





ESPN’s 2021 “Monday Night Football” Traditional Schedule Delivers Franchise’s Best Viewership Since 2013
ESPN’s traditional 17-game “MNF” package averaged 13.5 million viewers a game, up 11% from 2020 and 7% from 2019.
[via press release from ESPN]
ESPN’s 2021 “Monday Night Football” Traditional Schedule Delivers Franchise’s Best Viewership Since 2013; Inaugural “MNF: Saturday Doubleheader” Begins NFL’s Week 18 Season Finale

· Monday Night Football Averaged 13.5 Million Viewers/Game, Up 11% from 2020 and 7% from 2019

· Week 1 was Most-Watched MNF Game Since 2016; Multi-Year Highs Set Throughout the Season

· Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli Shattered ESPN’s Alternate Telecast Viewership Records

· Week 18: Kansas City at Denver & Dallas at Philadelphia on Saturday, January 8

ESPN’s 2021 Monday Night Football schedule scored a touchdown with viewers, earning the historic television franchise’s best season-long viewership since 2013. ESPN’s traditional 17-game MNF package averaged 13.5 million viewers a game, up 11% from 2020 and 7% from 2019. The two yearly percentage increases are the best among any NFL media rights holder in both years. Narrowing in, MNF was up in nearly every demo compared to the 2020 season including Persons 25-34 (4%), Persons 18-49 (7%), Persons 25-54 (9%) and Females (11%).

For the first time, ESPN’s regular season schedule will extend to the NFL’s Season Finale, as Monday Night Football: Doubleheader Saturday premieres on Saturday, Jan. 8, with the Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos (4:30 p.m. ET) and Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles (8:15 p.m.), with both games available on ESPN, ABC and ESPN+.

Then, ESPN and ABC – with MegaCast offerings on ESPN2 and ESPN+ – will air the first Monday night NFL Super Wild Card game on January 17 (8 p.m.).

The 2021 Monday Night Football Slate Delivered Most-Watched Games in Multiple Seasons

The 2021 Monday Night Football campaign began with the franchise’s largest opening week audience on ESPN, when the Ravens-Raiders matchup delivered 17 million viewers. That significant audience was MNF’s best in 68 games, dating back to the 2016 season. Additionally, adding in the Rams-Cardinals and Vikings-Bears matchups, which each generated more than 15.84 million viewers, this season’s MNF slate delivered three of the four most-watched MNF games in the franchise’s last 40 matchups.

On a week-to-week basis, Monday Night Football set multiple multi-year superlatives, including the best Week 3 viewership since 2012, highest Week 7 audience since 2014, top Week 13 viewership since 2013 and best Week 15 viewership since 2011. A complete breakdown is provided below.

ESPN’s Monday Night Football Week 17 matchup between the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers (Jan. 3, 8 p.m.) delivered an audience of 13.3 million viewers (ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes).

Peyton and Eli Raise the Bar for Alternate Telecast Viewership

Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli rewrote ESPN’s record books when it comes to alternate telecasts, as the critically-acclaimed show now holds ESPN’s record for the eight most-watched alternate telecasts (More than 60+ since 2014). The show’s regular season high came with 1.96 million viewers (New York Giants at Kansas City, Week 8) and also hit 1.9 million on two other occasions (Philadelphia at Dallas, Week 3 and Detroit at Green Bay, Week 2). Overall, the nine episodes averaged 1.6 million viewers.

ESPN’s Most-Watched Alternate Telecasts (2014-Present)

Rank Alternate Telecast Matchup Date Viewership

1. Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli Giants-Chiefs November 1, 2021 (Week 8) 1.96 million viewers

2. Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli Eagles-Cowboys September 27, 2021 (Week 3) 1.89 million viewers

3. Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli Lions-Packers September 20, 2021 (Week 2) 1.86 million viewers

4. Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli Patriots-Bills December 6, 2021 (Week 13) 1.63 million viewers

5. Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli Saints-Seahawks October 25, 2021 (Week 7) 1.61 million viewers

6. Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli Giants-Buccaneers November 22, 2021 (Week 11) 1.58 million viewers

7. Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli Rams-49ers November 15, 2021 (Week 10) 1.55 million viewers

8. Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli Browns-Steelers January 3, 2022 (Week 17) 1.48 million viewers

ESPN’s Monday Night Football Individual Game Highlights:

Week Matchup Audience Superlative(s)

Week 1 Ravens-Raiders 16,974,000 viewers

· Most-watched MNF game since 2016 (68 games)

· Most-watched MNF Week 1 game in the ESPN era (2006-present)

Week 2 Lions-Packers 13,808,000 viewers

· Second-most-watched MNF Week 2 game since 2014

Week 3 Eagles-Cowboys 14,904,000 viewers

· Most-watched MNF Week 3 presentation since 2012

Week 7 Saints-Seahawks 12,866,000 viewers

· Most-watched MNF Week 7 game since 2014

Week 8 Giants-Chiefs 13,990,000 viewers

· MNF’s best Week 8 audience since 2014

Week 9 Bears-Steelers 12,103,000 viewers

· Second-best MNF Week 9 audience since 2014

Week 10 49ers-Rams 12,325,000 viewers

· Second-best MNF Week 10 audience since 2012

Week 13 Patriots-Bills 14,909,000 viewers

· MNF’s top Week 13 audience since 2013

Week 14 Rams-Cardinals 15,895,000 viewers

· MNF second-best audience in 27 games, dating back to Week 3 of the 2020 season (Kansas City at Baltimore)

Week 15 Vikings-Bears 15,841,000 viewers

· MNF’s highest Week 15 audience since 2011

Week 17 Browns-Steelers 13,256,000 viewers

· MNF’s first Week 17 game on ESPN

-30-



New Year’s Six Delivers Multi-Year Viewership Highs, Second-Most-Watched Non-Semifinal Rose Bowl Game





New Year’s Six Delivers Multi-Year Viewership Highs, Second-Most-Watched Non-Semifinal Rose Bowl Game of College Football Playoff Era
This year’s New Year’s Six finished up double digits year-over-year, averaging 12.7 million viewers, and every bowl of the 2021 New Year’s Six surpassed 7.5 million viewers for just the third time of the CFP era.
[via press release from ESPN]
New Year’s Six Delivers Multi-Year Viewership Highs, Second-Most-Watched Non-Semifinal Rose Bowl Game of College Football Playoff Era

· New Year’s Six Bowls Up 15 Percent Over 2020

· Non-Semifinal NY6 Bowls Average 10.7M Viewers, Up 47 Percent Year-Over-Year and Nine Percent from 2019; Third Best Non-Semifinal NY6 on Record

The 2021 New Year’s Six delivered viewership records and multi-year audience highs from Dec. 30 – Jan. 1. This year’s New Year’s Six finished up double digits year-over-year, averaging 12.7 million viewers, and every bowl of the 2021 New Year’s Six surpassed 7.5 million viewers for just the third time of the CFP era. The non-Semifinal New Year’s Six bowls averaged nearly 11 million viewers, ranking third out of the eight years of the CFP.

Across both of ESPN’s MegaCast presentations, the College Football Playoff Semifinals averaged 16.9 million viewers, on par with 2015’s Year 2 – the last time the semifinals were on a weekday New Year’s Eve. The share of TV viewers tuned in to this year’s CFP Semifinals on ESPN networks (25.9) was the best since Year 1 (2014) of the CFP era.

The College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl between Georgia and Michigan netted 17.2 million viewers, peaking with 20.5 million viewers early in the action. The late Semifinal is the most-viewed non-NFL sporting event across any network, and top telecast across ABC and ESPN networks since last year’s CFP National Championship game. The top four non-NFL sporting events of 2021 were CFP Semifinal and National Championship games.

The College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic between Cincinnati and Alabama scored 16.6 million viewers, a six percent gain from Year 2’s early Semifinal (2015 Oklahoma/Clemson). Despite the scoring margin, the audience peaked with 18.2 million viewers late in the game.

Rest of New Year’s Six Notches Ratings Records

The Rose Bowl Game Presented by Capital One Venture X registered 16.6 million viewers, the second-most-viewed non-Semifinal New Year’s Six bowl game of the CFP era (2019 Washington/Ohio State, 16.9 million viewers). The audience tuning in to No. 11 Utah and No. 6 Ohio State peaked at 19.7 million viewers over the game’s closing minutes.

The CFP Semifinals and the Rose Bowl Game are the top three games of the college football season.

Additional New Year’s Six Highlights:

· The Allstate Sugar Bowl between No. 7 Baylor and No. 8 Ole Miss averaged 9.8 million viewers, peaking early in the action with 13.6 million viewers.

· The PlayStation Fiesta Bowl between No. 9 Oklahoma State and No. 5 Notre Dame registered 8.0 million viewers, up nearly 20 percent from the 2020 Fiesta Bowl. The audience peaked with 14.3 million viewers in the final moments.

· The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl recorded 7.6 million viewers, up more than 25 percent from the past two standalone weekday primetime games (31 percent – 2020 Cotton Bowl; 26 percent – 2019 Orange Bowl). The action from Atlanta peaked with 8.7 million viewers in the final 10 minutes of play between Pittsburgh and Michigan State.

· The 2021 New Year’s Six finished on par with the 2019 season.

Additional Holiday Week Highlights:

· The TransPerfect Music City Bowl recorded 5.6 million viewers, the most-viewed non-New Year’s Six bowl this season and the third-most-viewed non-New Year’s Six bowl game in the past six seasons. The matchup between Tennessee and Purdue was the most-watched Music City Bowl since 2010, and the audience peaked with 8.9 million viewers the final 15 minutes.

· The SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl featuring Wisconsin and Arizona State registered 3.7 million viewers, up from the last two Las Vegas Bowls that both aired on ABC

· The Duke’s Mayo Bowl, highlighted by the clash of the Carolinas and a victory mayo bath, netted 2.6 million viewers to start the morning on Thursday, Dec. 30.

· Across Thursday’s four bowl games, ESPN averaged 4.9 million viewers.

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ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” Delivers 15.9 Million Viewers for Second Consecutive Week





ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” Delivers 15.9 Million Viewers for Second Consecutive Week
Through the entire season, “Monday Night Football” is now averaging 13.5 million viewers, up 12% from 2020 and up 8% from 2019.
[via press release from ESPN]
ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” Delivers 15.9 Million Viewers for Second Consecutive Week

· Vikings-Bears: Most-Watched MNF Week 15 Game in a Decade

· December to Remember: MNF Weeks 13, 14, and 15 Have Generated Three of MNF’s Four Most-Watched Games This Season

· Season-to-Date: MNF Up 12% from 2020 and 8% from 2019 Seasons

ESPN’s Monday Night Football Week 15 matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears (Dec. 20, 8 p.m. ET) registered more than 15.9 million viewers (ESPN, ABC and ESPN Deportes), the second consecutive week MNF has generated an audience approaching 16 million. The 15,841,000 viewers on ESPN and ABC is MNF’s highest Week 15 audience since 2011, including up 20% from 2020 (Pittsburgh at Cincinnati) and 39% from 2019 (Indianapolis at New Orleans). For the season, Monday Night Football has been up in 12 of 15 weeks.

Monday Night Football has achieved three of its four best audiences in December, beginning with 14.9 million in Week 13 (New England at Buffalo) and then continuing with 15.9 million in Weeks 14 (Los Angeles at Arizona) and 15. The 17 million viewers for the season-opening overtime thriller (Baltimore at Las Vegas), airing on ESPN, ABC, and ESPN2, remains the highest audience of the season.

Through the entire season, Monday Night Football is now averaging 13.5 million viewers, up 12% from 2020 and up 8% from 2019.

Viewership reported by Nielsen for ESPN includes streaming audience across some ESPN, NFL and Yahoo Sports properties; audience figures for ESPN+ are not included in the audience reporting.

Please note: ESPN Deportes is not included in season-to-date averages

Additional Vikings-Bears Superlatives:

· Monday Night Football was the most-watched telecast and ESPN was the most-viewed network (broadcast and cable) of the night among key demos: Men 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54, as well as persons 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54 on ESPN.

· Monday Night Football was the most-viewed telecast and ABC was the most-watched network (broadcast and cable) of the night among households, viewers, M55+ and P55+

Monday Night Football continues with the streaking Miami Dolphins and the New Orleans Saints (Dec. 27, 8 p.m.), as both teams enter Week 16 with identical 7-7 records and firmly in the AFC and NFC Playoff races, respectively. The Dolphins have won six in row, while the Saints have won back-to-back games. Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Louis Riddick and Lisa Salters will be at the Caesars Superdome for the call.

This week’s NFL Turning Point, which premieres each Wednesday and breaks down pivotal moments from NFL Sundays that define the outcome of each game, features:

· Indianapolis Colts win over New England Patriots: A look at Jonathan Taylor’s final touchdown

· Green Bay Packers win over Baltimore Ravens: Focuses on Huntley and the decision to go for two

· Miami Dolphins win over New York Jets: With Tua Tagovailoa mic’d up, the show also features Devante Parker’s one-handed touchdown

In addition to NFL Turning Point, ESPN+ also offers weekly episodes of NFL PrimeTime, NFL Matchup, and The Fantasy Show.

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Week 15 Schedule Changes – Las Vegas-Cleveland Moved to Monday





Week 15 Schedule Changes – Las Vegas-Cleveland Moved to Monday; Washington-Philadelphia, Seattle-Los Angeles Rams Moved to Tuesday
Said the NFL: “We have made these schedule changes based on medical advice and after discussion with the NFLPA as we are seeing a new, highly transmissible form of the virus this week resulting in a substantial increase in cases across the league.”
[via press release from NFL]
Week 15 Schedule Changes

LAS VEGAS-CLEVELAND MOVED TO MONDAY; WASHINGTON-PHILADELPHIA, SEATTLE-LOS ANGELES RAMS MOVED TO TUESDAY

The Las Vegas Raiders-Cleveland Browns game scheduled for Saturday, December 18 has been moved to Monday, December 20 at 5 p.m. ET on NFL Network.

The Washington Football Team-Philadelphia Eagles game and Seattle Seahawks-Los Angeles Rams game scheduled for Sunday, December 19, have been moved to Tuesday, December 21. Washington-Philadelphia and Seattle-Los Angeles Rams will both kick off at 7 p.m. ET on FOX and also will be available on NFL Sunday Ticket.

We have made these schedule changes based on medical advice and after discussion with the NFLPA as we are seeing a new, highly transmissible form of the virus this week resulting in a substantial increase in cases across the league.

We continue to make decisions in consultation with medical experts to ensure the health and safety of the NFL community.

The updated Week 15 schedule (all times ET):

Saturday, December 18

New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts 8:15 PM NFLN

Sunday, December 19

Carolina Panthers at Buffalo Bills 1:00 PM FOX

Arizona Cardinals at Detroit Lions 1:00 PM FOX

Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 PM CBS

New York Jets at Miami Dolphins 1:00 PM CBS

Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants 1:00 PM FOX

Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00 PM CBS

Cincinnati Bengals at Denver Broncos 4:05 PM CBS

Atlanta Falcons at San Francisco 49ers 4:05 PM CBS

Green Bay Packers at Baltimore Ravens 4:25 PM FOX

New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 8:20 PM NBC

Monday, December 20

Las Vegas Raiders at Cleveland Browns 5:00 PM NFLN

Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears 8:15 PM ESPN

Tuesday, December 21

Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams 7:00 PM FOX

Washington Football Team at Philadelphia Eagles 7:00 PM FOX



ESPN’s Presentation of Monday Night Football: Doubleheader Saturday in Week 18





ESPN’s Presentation of Monday Night Football: Doubleheader Saturday in Week 18 Set To Debut; Simulcast on ABC and ESPN+

Both Matchups Will Have Playoff Implications, Announced After Week 17

“MNF: Doubleheader Saturday” Broadcasters:

“Monday Night Football”’s Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Louis Riddick, Lisa Salters and John Parry

ESPN’s Most-Veteran Football Tandem and College Football Lead Commentators Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit, along with “NFL Live” Host Laura Rutledge

ABC and ESPN+ Simulcast Five NFL Games, Including NFL Super Wild Card, in Six Weeks

ESPN will premiere “Monday Night Football: Doubleheader Saturday” on Jan. 8 (4:30 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. ET), a conclusion to the network’s coverage of the biggest season ever and a launch into its new Monday night NFL Super Wild Card presentation on Jan. 17 (8:15 p.m.). ABC and ESPN+ will simulcast ESPN’s offerings of both the “Monday Night Football: Doubleheader Saturday” and the Super Wild Card matchup with ESPN Deportes airing the Spanish-language telecast of all three games. In addition to ESPN+, the games will also be streamed across ESPN, ABC and NFL digital properties, and on mobile via participating club properties and Yahoo Sports.

ESPN’s new Week 18 doubleheader — part of the NFL Season Finale — is a vital component of the new landmark media rights agreement between Disney/ESPN and the NFL, announced in March. The Monday night NFL Super Wild Card rights were acquired through a separate deal announced in October.

The matchups for “Monday Night Football: Doubleheader Saturday” will be announced by the NFL after Week 17. Both games will have playoff implications (e.g., involving teams playing to stay alive for a Wild Card berth, Division title, conference seeding, first-round bye, etc.).

ESPN will have two broadcast booths for “Monday Night Football: Doubleheader Saturday.” The voices of “Monday Night Football” – Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Louis Riddick, Lisa Salters and John Parry – will call one game as the group concludes their second regular season and prepares to call ESPN’s NFL Super Wild Card game. ESPN’s most-seasoned football broadcast booth and top college football tandem – Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit – will also call a game, as the pair works their second NFL game in as many years (Pittsburgh at New York Giants – September 2020). Laura Rutledge will join the broadcast duo as the reporter, the “NFL Live” host’s third NFL game assignment. Fowler and Herbstreit, who have announced games as a pair since 2014 and worked together for more than 25 years, will also call the College Football Playoff National Championship (Monday, Jan. 10).

ESPN will lead into Saturday’s Week 18 action with a special edition of “NFL Countdown” on ESPN and ABC, beginning at 3 p.m.

ABC and ESPN+ to Simulcast “Monday Night Football”’s Main Presentation in Week 15.

ABC and ESPN+’s simulcast of both the Week 18 doubleheader and NFL Super Wild Card game will conclude a stretch of five NFL games available on both networks in a six-week span. Last night’s “Monday Night Football” Week 14 showdown between the Los Angeles Rams and the Arizona Cardinals (Dec. 13) and next week’s Week 15 matchup featuring the Minnesota Vikings at the Chicago Bears (Dec. 20) was and is available on both networks. ESPN Deportes provides the Spanish-language telecast to every “Monday Night Football” matchup.

More on ESPN’s Super NFL Wild Card MegaCast, which includes Peyton and Eli, will be announced.



ESPN Networks Deliver Multi-Year College Football Viewership Growth in 2021





ESPN Networks Deliver Multi-Year College Football Viewership Growth in 2021 – and the Most-Streamed CFB Season Ever
ESPN networks were up from both 2019 and 2020, with ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 averaging 1,976,000 viewers, up 19 percent from 2020 and two percent from 2019.
[via press release from ESPN]
ESPN Networks Deliver Multi-Year College Football Viewership Growth in 2021 – and the Most-Streamed CFB Season Ever

· ABC/ESPN/ESPN2 combine to finish up over 2020 and 2019

· ABC’s most-watched season since 2017

· ESPN2 up significantly from both 2019 and 2020

· College GameDay Built by The Home Depot averaged 1.9 million viewers, up 39 percent from 2020

ESPN networks delivered substantial viewership growth during the 2021 college football season, spurred by a banner year for ABC and ESPN2, as well as College GameDay Built by The Home Depot, which further solidified its position as the sport’s show of record in its 35th season.

ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 Record Multi-Year Highs

ESPN networks were up from both 2019 and 2020, with ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 averaging 1,976,000 viewers, up 19 percent from 2020 and two percent from 2019. ABC registered its most-watched season since 2017, averaging 4,042,000 viewers this season, up 25 percent from 2020 and two percent from 2019. ABC aired the most-viewed game in more Saturday windows (16 of 42) than any other network. Combined, ESPN and ABC had the top game in nearly half of all Saturday game windows (20 of 42) and ESPN networks were responsible for 53 percent of live game minutes viewed across nationally-rated networks, on par with 2019.

ESPN, ESPN2 Carry Cable Crowns

For the first time since 2015, ESPN networks are the top two most-watched networks for college football on cable. ESPN averaged 1,733,000 viewers in 2021, up 16 percent from 2020 and on par with 2019. ESPN2 experienced its most-watched season since 2018, up 65 percent from 2020 and a 27 percent increase from 2019. On average, games on ESPN2 recorded 643,000 viewers this season.

ESPN Networks Own Primetime

ABC Saturday Night Football Presented by Capital One averaged more than five million viewers in 2021, up 36 percent from 2020 and on par with 2018 and 2019. College football lifted ESPN networks to become the most-viewed network in primetime 11 times this season. ABC and ESPN were the top two networks in primetime on six different Saturdays. During the average regular season Saturday, 7.8 million viewers and 2.5 million P18-49 viewers were watching ABC or ESPN college football in the average minute in primetime.

ABC Afternoon Action Rises

ABC’s late afternoon window averaged 3,554,000 viewers, up seven percent from 2019 to rank as ABC’s most-watched late afternoon window since 2016. The noon window also witnessed multi-year growth, registering 3,109,000 viewers in 2021, up six percent from 2019 and four percent from 2018.

ABC Airs More Most-Watched Games

ABC broadcast six of the top 15 and nine of the top 25 college football games this season, the most of any network. In total, ESPN networks aired half of the top 50 most-watched games this season, the most of any network family.

College GameDay Reigns Supreme

College GameDay Built by The Home Depot averaged 1,880,000 viewers, up 39 percent from 2020. The preeminent pre-game show registered 146,000 more viewers than the average college football game on ESPN. If College GameDay was a game window, it would be the third-most-watched game window on cable.

CGD Superlatives:

· Rivalry Week from Ann Arbor, Mich. averaged 2.3 million viewers, its most-viewed episode since Rivalry Week 2018 and third best since the show expanded to three hours in 2013. The final hour averaged 3 million viewers, the fifth best 11 a.m. hour since 2013

· Week 5 from Athens, Ga. averaged 2.2 million viewers, the most-viewed October telecast since the show expanded to three hours in 2013 and best pre-November show since 2015

2021 Becomes ESPN’s Most-Streamed Season on Record

3.9 billion minutes of live college football games were streamed across ESPN networks and select MVPD access points, up 37 percent from 2020 and 8 percent from 2019. This is the most-streamed season ever on ESPN platforms.

Additional Viewership Notables

· ABC’s four Kickoff Weekend games averaged 6.2 million viewers, up 28 percent from 2019 and the network’s most-viewed Kickoff Weekend since 2017 and 3rd best in the past decade

· Clemson-Georgia averaged 8.9 million viewers and ranks as the second-most-viewed Kickoff Saturday game in the past 20 years (behind FSU-ALA in 2017)

· Notre Dame-Florida State game drew 7.8 million viewers and ranks as the second-best Opening Week Sunday game on record

· ESPN’s Opening Friday night doubleheader (UNC-VT and MSU-NW) averaged 2.3 million viewers and ranks as ESPN’s most-viewed Opening Friday since 2012

· Week 3’s Auburn-Penn State game (7.6 million viewers, ABC) drew the largest Week 3 audience for a game on ABC since 2011

· ESPN’s Week 5 SEC tripleheader averaged 3.6 million viewers, the best SEC tripleheader on ESPN since 2016

· Oklahoma-Texas in Week 6 averaged 5.9 million viewers, the second-most-watched Red River Rivalry in the past 10 years (behind 2019). This game helped ABC to its most-viewed Week 6 tripleheader since 2011

· LSU-Alabama in Week 10 averaged 5 million viewers and ranked as ESPN’s most-viewed game since October 2019 (Florida-LSU) and the top game on cable this season

· ABC averaged 4.7 million viewers in Week 11, its most-viewed tripleheader since Week 1 and most-watched November Saturday since Nov. 26, 2016

· Oregon-Utah in Week 12 averaged 4.8 million viewers, the best Pac-12 conference game (excluding conference championships) since 2014

· Oklahoma-Oklahoma State on ABC SNF in Week 13 averaged 6.5 million viewers, the third-most-viewed game in the history of Bedlam and best since 2013

· The Pac-12 Championship averaged 4.2 million viewers, the second-most-viewed Pac-12 Championship in the past five years

· The American Athletic Conference Championship averaged 3.4 million viewers, the most-viewed AAC Championship ever

· The CFP Rankings Show on Sunday, Dec. 5 averaged a million viewers, up 10 percent from 2020 and five percent from 2019

ESPN Digital and Social Show Stellar Growth

· ESPN’s digital and social shows combined for more than 50 million views this season, including Countdown to GameDay, The College Football Show, The Wrap-Up, Rankings Reaction, The Kickoff, and ESPN’s Heisman shows

· Total engagement for college football posts across ESPN’s social platforms was up 19 percent year-over-year with a similar number of posts. College GameDay on TikTok launched before the 2021 season and is now up to more than 450,000 followers. In addition to College GameDay’s growth on the platform, ESPN has experienced significant success on its main account. ESPN is the most-engaged account in sports and is in the top five most-followed and engaged brands on the entire platform.

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