“Monday Night Football” was already experiencing a significant drop in viewers this season going into this week’s game. It definitely could have done without going up against Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Airing opposite this year’s first presidential debate for much of its broadcast, the Atlanta Falcons-New Orleans Saints contest drew an overnight rating of 5.7, Sports Media Watch reported, which could be an all-time low for the long-running program.
That’s down 36% from last year’s Week 3 game (Kansas City Chiefs vs. Green Bay Packers) and 38% from the 2014 offering the same week (Chicago Bears vs. New York Jets).
Obviously the Trump-Clinton showdown had a lot to do with the dropoff, as the debate pulled in a combined overnight rating of 46.2 across nine broadcast and cable networks.
But it’s definitely not good news for the NFL. Ratings for ESPN’s “MNF” and the more-popular “Sunday Night Football” on NBC are down about 12% so far this season.