While ESPN saw hefty numbers for its season-opening Monday Night Football doubleheader on Monday, it fell short of last season’s record opener.
The cabler’s twin bill featuring the Detroit Lions-New York Giants and San Diego Chargers-Arizona Cardinals combined to average 12.6 million viewers, down 9% from the 13.7 million that ESPN drew last year.
The 7 p.m. ET game that saw the Lions blow out the Giants 35-14 averaged 13.7 million viewers, which was down 17% from the 16.5 million that tuned in last year to see Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly make his NFL debut (the 16.5 million was also a record for ESPN).
The late game, which saw the Cardinals complete a fourth-quarter comeback with a 18-17 victory, was in line with last year’s late-window (Texans-Chargers) with 11.5 million viewers.
Next week, ESPN returns to its regular 8:30 p.m. slot with the Indianapolis Colts vs. the Eagles.