It’s harder than ever to sift through spin and smoke when it comes to viewership numbers. ESPN and ABC had plenty of extra fodder to spin and smoke on Monday night, with an overlapping doubleheader.
Here are the basic raw numbers. Titans-Bills on ESPN averaged 7.9 million viewers on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes. Vikings-Eagles on ABC and ESPN+ averaged 12.9 million viewers. Neither number is phenomenal, which probably has something to do with neither game being that compelling.
Disney’s PR specialists pulled in more viewers during the inherently frustrating (for many) two-game overlap. The two games played at the same time generated an average audience of 20.6 million across all networks. That exceeds the average viewership for the entire Broncos-Seahawks Week 1 game.
It should. It was two games. Four fanbases. And during the overlap period, the game played on the larger network (Vikings-Eagles) was yet to be decided.
The question is whether two back-to-back games could do better, especially with a six-hour ManningCast marathon to accompany back-to-back games. ESPN and ABC (working with the NFL) might try this next year.