The NFL continues to trend downward. “Monday Night Football” on ESPN set the record for lowest viewers in recorded history.
In order to be able to broadcast Monday Night Football, one wild card playoff game and the right to use NFL on highlights on ESPN shows and networks, ESPN pays $2 billion a year to the NFL.
When you break it down on a per-capita basis, every ESPN subscriber on cable or satellite subscription in America pays $23.25 a year for MNF and NFL highlights. That’s 86 million subscribers.
That seems like a lot of money doesn’t it? Well many of these people don’t even watch Monday Night Football.
Based on data provided, 12% of cable and satellite subscribers watch Monday Night Football. weekly. So 88% of cable subscribers are paying this much for Monday Night Football, but not watching the games.
And as if things couldn’t get any worse, MNF hit an all-time low in ratings this year on ESPN.
ESPN also wrapped up 2017 averaging 10.8 million viewers for "Monday Night Football," which is the package's lowest figure on record. ESPN's previous low was 11.2 million in 2007. More in SBD tomorrow.
— Austin Karp (@AustinKarp) December 28, 2017
Per Outkick the Coverage:
Here’s the past ten years of ESPN viewership on Monday Night Football.
2017 – 10,800,000
2016 – 11,390,000
2015 – 12,896,000
2014 – 13,349,000
2013 – 13,679,000
2012 – 12,826,000
2011 – 13,252,000
2010 – 14,657,000
2009 – 14,382,000
2008 – 11,962,000
2007 – 11,230,000
I’m not an expert on ratings data, but based on these numbers ESPN has lost around 35% of its Monday Night Football audience since 2010.
As if that weren’t enough, ESPN has also let it be known that they may not be keeping Monday Night Football when this deal expires because the company can no longer afford to pay $2 billion a year thanks to collapsing subscriber numbers, increased costs for other sports programming, and the dwindling ratings on their network.
Oh, well, at least their president didn’t “resign” last week citing “substance abuse issues.”
And at least one of their top talents didn’t call Donald Trump a white supremacist again.
Happy 2018, MSESPN!
NFL ratings plummet and you continue to see so many empty seats. Is the NFL able to recover from the kneeling protests or is it too late?