MNF Ratings Down From Last Year (I Blame Mike, Mike & Mike)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Monday Night Football ratings from the other night are down a good bit from last years MNF openers, and I have a theory. You would think people would rather watch AZ-SF over SD-OAK, but that wasn't the case....

ESPN earned a 9.7 rating, down 14.2% from a 11.3 last year. The net averaged a 9.9 rating from 8:00-11:00pm, which translates into an 8.4 national rating, the highest of any net, broadcast or cable, for the night in primetime. The two games delivered the net’s two highest ratings of the year, as well as the second- and third-largest household audiences on cable this year, behind only Disney Channel’s “High School Musical 2”, which averaged 17.2 million viewers on August 17.- SBD
It's all really irrelevant when you have the 2nd and 3rd most viewers on cable this year, but I think there might a bigger reason for this.....

The Announcing team.

Think about it. How many regular Football fans watched the first quarter of the 2nd game, couldn't understand a word the trio was saying, and just said "F" it....I'm going to bed? I bet it was a lot. The San Diego game last year was a blowout (27-0) in which Oakland proceeded to put up 129 yards. You'd think people would have turned that game off, but they didn't. It was 13-0 at halftime. I think Nessler and Vermeil probably did a great job of keeping people tuned in.

I could be completely off base considering the difference between viewers was down 19% for the late game, and obviously not all of those folks tuned out because of the Mikes, but I don't think it's all that far fetched and I really didn't have anything else to write this morning. If someone wants to agree or disagree feel free to in the comments.


I turned the game off early in the 2nd quarter and watched a baseball game on Extra Innings instead. I'm from Chicago and like Mike Ditka, but he contributed absolutely nothing to this broadcast unless talking over his partners counts. Greenberg was so awful doing the play by play that even Pam Ward would have been an acceptable replacement. Mike Golic had some intelligent things to say, but between Iron Mike interrupting and the lousy sound quality, whatever he brought to the table was lost. A terrible broadcast presentation in all respects.

Anonymous said...
Sep 13, 2007, 11:26:00 AM  

Personally, I enjoyed the "average guy watching a ballgame" approach. To me, it was a bit refreshing.

To each his own.

Chappy said...
Sep 13, 2007, 11:38:00 AM  

I suspect that ESPN will blame it on "predictable market shifts," similar to what they're blaming Yahoo! Sports passing them up this month on.

Or (MORE LIKELY) maybe they'll say it's because they didn't have any celebrities in the booth this time. See?????!!!!!! They want celebrities! We don't give 'em Jamie Foxx and Tom Cruise and see what happens?

Anonymous said...
Sep 13, 2007, 11:47:00 AM  

SF/AZ is a game with no national buzz at all and the announcing team didn't help. Also, Jaws with Vermeil and Nessler last year and it was the Jaws/Vermeil teamwork that made it work with a competent play-by-play man like Brad Nessler.

Nessler over Tirico
Jaws over Joey THEEEZman
Anyone over Tony

GO ESPN GO, Cross Promote your SH*T to death and kill your network

Rob said...
Sep 13, 2007, 12:08:00 PM  

Another likely ESPN "theory": This is what happens when the NFC East is not involved. No New York. No Cowboys. No Ratings.

Anonymous said...
Sep 13, 2007, 12:18:00 PM  

To anonymous, we'll see what happens when the WWL gives us the dog turd Philadelphia - Washington matchup next week, a game that would need a time machine set to 1988 to be appointment television.

My theory on declining viewership? Probably a bunch of people like me -- just didn't watch the damn thing. People might be willing to supress the gag reflex to watch one gala production of ESPN MNF. Two, forget it, and especially if it's two ass-donkey teams from the NFC west.

And I live in the Bay Area.

TacoBellManager said...
Sep 13, 2007, 12:51:00 PM  

In response, there's no doubt in my mind that Washington and Philly will get higher ratings. But I'd like to see how they do outside of the I-95 corridor. Or, as ESPN calls it, "the rest of the country."

Anonymous said...
Sep 13, 2007, 12:57:00 PM  

I think everyone is missing the point here. I work in advertising and last years MNF opener was a HUGE advertising opportunity due to the "newness" of MNF on ESPN. Last year was ESPN's first year hosting MNF (yes we all saw the ads) so people tuned in just to see how cable would handle a primetime network staple. I'm pretty sure this year with the debacle that is Tony Kornheiser already established, they lost a lot of the casual viewer..

rs27 said...
Sep 13, 2007, 1:50:00 PM  


Last year the fist MNF game produced the largest viwing audience in ESPN history! With obvious spillover into the SD-OAK game..Yeah I dont think the comparison is that fair..

rs27 said...
Sep 13, 2007, 1:53:00 PM  

Good stuff RS...thanks for the info. I was doing the math and it's about a 1.5-2.0 million difference. Not a whole lot really.

Sep 13, 2007, 2:03:00 PM  

The NFC East is more interesting than any other division. Period.

GMoney said...
Sep 13, 2007, 3:49:00 PM  

AFC West

Anonymous said...
Sep 13, 2007, 4:23:00 PM  

Post a Comment