Monday Night Football

Chris Berman and Trent Dilfer to Handle ESPN MNF Opening Nightcap

ESPN announced today that Chrie Berman and Trent Dilfer will be in the booth for the second half of its season-opening NFL double header on September 10th.  The pair will work the telecast featuring the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders with a kick-off set for 10:15p.m. ET.

The new ESPN two-man booth featuring Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden will have the opener which will pit the Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens.

Prior to the regular season debut, Berman and Dilfer will also call the Arizona Cardinals-Tennessee Titans MNF preseason game on Aug. 23rd.

“I have worked with Boom for four years now and I’ve never been around someone who loves the NFL more than him,” said Dilfer. “I firmly believe that his passion and mine for the game of football will translate to the audience.”
ESPN has had a number of broadcaster combinations through the years for the second half of these opening NFL double headers.  Here are all the combinations since 2006:
Year Game ESPN Commentators
2006 San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders Brad Nessler, Ron Jaworski and Dick Vermeil
2007 Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers Mike Greenberg, Mike Golic and Mike Ditka
2008 Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders Greenberg, Golic and Ditka
2009 San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders Greenberg, Golic and Steve Young
2010 San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs Nessler and Trent Dilfer
2011 Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos Nessler and Dilfer
2012 San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders Chris Berman and Dilfer
There will be a lot of debate over ESPN’s decision as we get closer to opening night. And as much as I would rather see someone other than Berman for this game, it is only one game and most viewers watch for the action on the field, not the announcers in the booth.  We who analyze sports media sometimes forget that.

2012 ESPN Monday Night Football Schedule

I am back from my break only to find that the 2012 NFL schedule was unveiled this week.  In case you have not seen the releases, here is the 2012 ESPN Monday Night Football Schedule:

Date Time (ET) Teams
Aug. 9 8 p.m. Green Bay Packers at San Diego Chargers
Aug. 13 8 p.m. Dallas Cowboys at Oakland Raiders
Aug. 20 8 p.m. Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots
Aug. 23 8 p.m. Arizona Cardinals at Tennessee Titans
Regular Season    
Sept. 10 7 p.m. Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens
  10:15 p.m. San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders
Sept. 17 8:30 p.m. Denver Broncos at Atlanta Falcons
Sept. 24 8:30 p.m. Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks
Oct. 1 8:30 p.m. Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys
Oct. 8 8:30 p.m. Houston Texans at New York Jets
Oct. 15 8:30 p.m. Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers 
Oct. 22 8:30 p.m. Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears
Oct. 29 8:30 p.m. San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals
Nov. 5 8:30 p.m. Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints
Nov. 12 8:30 p.m. Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers
Nov. 19 8:30 p.m. Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ers
Nov. 26 8:30 p.m. Carolina Panthers at Philadelphia Eagles
Dec. 3 8:30 p.m. New York Giants at Washington Redskins
Dec. 10 8:30 p.m. Houston Texans at New England Patriots
Dec. 17 8:30 p.m. New York Jets at Tennessee Titans
Dec. 22 (Sat.) 8:30 p.m. Atlanta Falcons vs. Detroit Lions

Jaworski Signs Five Year Extension With ESPN, Will Leave MNF Booth

ESPN has announced that NFL analyst Ron Jaworski has signed a five year extention with the network, a deal which will expend his role with the WWL, but remove him from the Monday Night Football (MNF) broadcast booth.

Under his new duties, Jaworski will make multi-platform appearances including Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Countdown, NFL Matchup, Mike & Mike in the Morning, Pardon the Interruption and other NFL branded specials.  

The new Monday Night Football booth will encompass play-by-play voice Mike Tirico and analyst Jon Gruden.  Jaworski had been part of a three man booth for MNF for the last five seasons.

“I am grateful for having the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of working on Monday Night Football the past five seasons with Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and so many other talented people behind the scenes who make the show so great, and I look forward to bringing my passion and knowledge of the game to more fans in more places than ever before on any and all football topics,” said Jaworski in a press release.

“I thank Ron for the great contributions he has made to Monday Night Football and look forward to the many ways he will enhance our studio presentation from our NFL-branded shows to SportsCenter,” said ESPN President John Skipper. “With two strong analysts in Ron and Jon, these moves will better utilize their strengths and benefit our entire NFL presentation.”

Photo Courtesy ESPN

MNF Wins the Night Again for ESPN

ESPN has announced that the ratings for this past Monday Night Football’s (MNF) match-up between the Giants and Saints registered a 10.7, winning the night in all of television.

The rating represented an audience of 14.4 million viewers.  Locally, New Orleans had a rating of 61.0 ratings (split between ESPN and WDSU.  New York had a local rating of 15.7 (split between ESPN and WWOR)

Through twelve weeks of the season MNF has an average rating of 9.8 with an average audience of  13.2 million viewers.

Despite Pats Blowout, Ratings Still Strong for MNF

ESPN announced that Monday Night’s match-up between the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots, a game won by the Pats 34-3, earned the network a 9.1 rating with an audience of 12.3 million viewers, winning the night in all the key male demographics.

The game in the Boston market garnered a combined rating of 32.2 (11.0 rating on ESPN and a 21.2 rating on WCVB-ABC).  In Kansas City the game registered a combined rating of 29.8 (12.8 rating on ESPN and a 17.0 rating on KMBC-ABC).

Through eleven weeks Monday Night Football has an average rating of 9.7 with an average audience of nearly 13.2 million viewers.

Monday Night Football Gives ESPN Ratings Win in Key Male Demos

Once again ESPN won the ratings war for the key male demographics of 18-34 and 18-49 from last night’s Monday Night Football (MNF) telecast.

Despite Green Bay’s 45-7 blowout of the Vikings, MNF earned a rating of 10.1 with a viewership of 14.1million viewers.

The game drew a 18.4 rating oin Milwaukee and a 10.9 rating in Minneapolis.

For the season MNF is averaging a rating of 9.8 and an audience of 13.2 million viewers.

Monday Night Football Wins Ratings Night in Key Male Demos

Last night’s 23-20 overtime win by the Kansas City Chiefs over the San Diego Chargers lifted Monday Night Football (MNF) to a ratings win in the male 18-34 and 18-49 demographics.

The ratings made MNF the most watched program for the night on broadcast and cable.  The game’s rating was 9.1 with an audience of 12 million viewers.

Through eight games MNF is averaging a rating of 9.5 with an audience of 12.7 million viewers.

Last night’s game registered a 15.8 rating in San Diego and a 14.3 rating in Kansas City

ESPN, Jon Gruden Come to Terms on Five-Year Extension

ESPN has announced that it has entered into a five year contract extension with Jon Gruden to keep him broadcasting Monday Night Football (MNF).  His new deal is effective September 2012.

Gruden became part of the MNF team in September of 2009.  In his first two seasons at the mic Gruden has earned two Emmy Award nominations for Best Analyst.

“Our Monday Night Football crew is special, and to have the opportunity to continue to be a part of this team, working these big-time NFL prime time games every week on ESPN, I’m fired up,” said Gruden in a press release.

“Jon has made a remarkable transition from Super Bowl-winning head coach to one of the premier football analysts in our business.” said Norby Williamson, executive vice president, production.  “His long-term commitment to ESPN will continue to elevate our Monday Night Football presentation and we look forward to finding even more opportunities to take advantage of his passion for football and unique insights into the game.”

Over his time at ESPN Grudent has also called a number of college football bowl games for both ESPN and ESPN Radio.

Photo Courtesy ESPN

ESPN Sees Highest NFL Ratings of the Season for Redskins/Cowboys

ESPN’s Monday Night Football (MNF) game between the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys scored a 12.3 rating with an average of 17.1 million viewers, making it the highest rated MNF telecast of the young season so far.

Locally, the game scored a 22.4 rating in Washington, D.C and a 20.4 rating in Dallas.

ESPN will be challenged to duplicate that high rating number next Monday as they telecast the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Manning-less Indianapolis Colts.