The Monday Night Football matchup between the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles was the No. 1 watched telecast of the evening across all networks, and gave ESPN the most-viewed Week 1 game since the network started broadcasting games in 2006.
ESPN’s previous best season-opener was a 9.4 US rating and 14,973,000 viewers (Baltimore Ravens vs. New York Jets, 2010).
In addition, only one ESPN MNF game in 2012 attracted a larger audience (Bears-Cowboys: 16,616,000 viewers).
The Eagles-Redskins telecast peaked from 10-10:15 p.m. with a 12.7 rating and 20,920,000 viewers.
Overall, the game ranks as the fourth largest audience for any program on cable television in calendar year 2013, trailing only ESPN’s BCS National Championship Game (26.4 million viewers – Notre Dame-Alabama, 1/7/13), the BCS Sustainer, and the 2013 Rose Bowl (17.0 million viewers – Wisconsin-Stanford, 1/1/13) telecasts.
In Washington D.C., the game delivered a 22.3 rating on ESPN and a 16.5 on WDCA-IND, for a combined 38.8 rating in the market.
In Philadelphia, the game delivered an 11.0 rating on ESPN and a 24.1 on WPVI-ABC, for a combined 35.1 rating in the market.
The top-10 metered markets outside of Washington and Philadelphia included: Richmond-Petersburg, Va. (27.5), Norfolk (23.9), Baltimore (22.3), New Orleans (19.1), Charlotte (17.1), Buffalo (14.8), Tampa-St. Petersburg (14.4), Indianapolis (14.1), Austin, Texas (13.9) and Las Vegas (13.3).
The ESPN MNF games finished as the two highest-rated telecasts of the night on any network, averaging an 8.7 US rating, 10,113,000 households (13,977,000 viewers).
It is the highest-rated and most-viewed two-game average that ESPN has delivered for a MNF opening night since the format began in 2006.
During the traditional MNF timeslot (8:30-11:45 p.m.), ESPN averaged a 10.9 US rating and 17,564,000 viewers.
ESPN Digital Platforms Log Significant Growth, MNF Record for WatchESPN
ESPN Digital Media’s NFL content across all platforms – ESPN.com, mobile Web, apps and WatchESPN – logged significant growth, generating an average minute audience of 605,000 during ESPN’s MNF doubleheader, marking an increase of 47 percent compared to last season. Highlights:
- The Eagles-Redskins game on WatchESPN logged 19.5 million live minutes and an average minute audience of 88,000, marking WatchESPN’s highest performing NFL game to date.
- ESPN’s MNF telecasts last night accounted for two-thirds (64 percent) of the overall television-related tweets on Twitter. With an average of 408,000 tweeters and 2.13 million total tweets, last night’s doubleheader grew its social audience by 95 percent and conversation by 137 percent compared to the same opening night last year.