Wednesday, April 17, 2024
Wednesday, April 17, 2024
Home NFLBuffalo Bills Bills at Jets thriller on Monday Night Football breaks viewership record

Bills at Jets thriller on Monday Night Football breaks viewership record

by Moxieplay

The Monday Night Football game between the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets at MetLife Stadium became a television phenomenon by attracting a record audience of more than 22.6 million viewers, the highest number since ESPN began broadcasting the NFL in 2006, according to Sports Business Journal’s Austin Karp.

Jets won the first MNF of the 2023 NFL season in an instant classic of a game. The millions of viewers witnessed Aaron Rodgers’ terrible injury on his debut, which happened just four plays into the contest.

They also saw Josh Allen have four turnovers, Breece Hall’s spectacular ground game, Zach Wilson’s dramatic comeback, and Jets rookie Xavier Gipson returning a punt for the game-winning touchdown in overtime.

The game surpassed the 21.8 million viewers for Brett Favre’s Minnesota Vikings versus Green Bay Packers in the 2009 season opener.

Wilson, 24, is the team’s starting QB moving forward. The NFL scheduled the Jets for eight nationally televised games, so he’ll be highly-scrutinized.

Crunching the numbers

Despite Rodgers’ injury, Jets rallied in the fourth quarter to force overtime and win 16-22 on a spectacular 65-yard kickoff return by Gipson.

In viewership, this first MNF of the season posted a 14% increase over 2022 when Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos faced the Seattle Seahawks, which generated a 19.8 million viewer rating for the first game of Week 1.

By network, this week’s MNF breaks down to: 11.7 million viewers who watched the game on ABC, 9.4 million tuned in to ESPN and 1.52 million on ESPN2, which featured the ManningCast alternate broadcast featuring former quarterback brothers Peyton and Eli Manning.

These 22.6 million viewers surpassed several of the most successful sports events of the year in the United States, including the championship game in college soccer, the NCAA Final Four and the Kentucky Derby, plus the Oscar and Grammy Awards, proving the NFL remains the most important league in American sports.

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