Nearly 11 Million Tuned In For Season’s First Monday Night Football Game

A national television audience of 10.9 million watched Baltimore Ravens rout the Cincinnati Bengals in the first regular season Monday Night Football game of the NFL season. The final score was Ravens 44, Bengals 13. reported that Bengals got the score to 17-13 Ravens in the third quarter, but the wheels fell off big time after that, with Baltimore scoring 27 unanswered points. Blowouts, by the way, don’t help TV ratings.

While fans in both markets love the exposure, Cincinnati’s die hard supporters won’t be upset to hear that viewership for the blowout, according to the Baltimore Sun, was down 25 percent from the 14.6 million who watched Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots start the Monday Night Football season off last year.

In terms of Nielsen rating for the opener, the early game scored an 8.1 in households down 23 percent from the 10.6 for last season’s Dolphins-Patriots Monday Night Football game.

It wasn’t all bad news for Monday Night Football, however, as the Times Union reports that the later game in the evening, San Diego Chargers vs. Oakland Raiders registered a 7.9 rating, up three percent from last year’s first late game involving the Raiders and Denver Broncos (7.7). San Diego beat Oakland 22-14.

The other major sporting event on television last night was the Men’s Final of the US Open in tennis. The US Open scored a 2.3 for Andy Murray’s win over Novak Djokovic.

Next week’s Monday Night Football contest will feature Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos traveling to take on Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons.

The season opener on Monday marked the 43rd year of Monday Night Football.