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The Decision Behind NFL and ESPN Broadcasting Two ‘Monday Night Football’ Games Simultaneously in Week 14

In Week 14 of the NFL season, the league is continuing its experiment with Monday Night Football viewership by airing two games simultaneously on two different channels. The Green Bay Packers will play the New York Giants on ABC, while the Tennessee Titans face the Miami Dolphins on ESPN, both starting at 8:15 p.m. ET. This is the third time the NFL has scheduled two Monday night games, and the decision is part of a data-gathering effort to learn about viewer interest in doubleheader start times.

ESPN has also added the “Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli” or ManningCast to air simultaneously on ESPN2, giving fans multiple viewing options. The NFL and ESPN are seeking to understand what start times optimize viewership and create a new and different viewing experience for fans. The idea is to combine total audience and create a simultaneous national and regional appeal, similar to college football.

The NFL and ESPN are considering factors beyond start times in analyzing viewership data, including the competitiveness of each game, the teams’ market size, and the estimated reach for each outlet. The addition of the ManningCast is seen as an opportunity to extend the brand and expose more viewers to Monday Night Football.

This unique and experimental approach is a fit for the League as it continues to test and innovate its broadcasting strategies. Viewers can watch all three broadcasts on ESPN+. Overall, the NFL and ESPN hope to learn from this experiment and continue to hone in on driving the biggest viewership in the future.

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