Monday Night Football Ratings Rise with Star Wars Trailer, but No Season or Record High

(Photo: ESPN/Lucasfilm)

If you were on my twitter feed last night, then it seemed like everyone in the world was watching Monday Night Football and eagerly awaiting the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer debut. It was a nice piece of corporate synergy between two sister companies under the Disney umbrella, with teases throughout the first half of the Giants-Eagles NFC East division rivalry game and a special segment built into the show rather than thrown into a commercial break to show the two-minute plus trailer.

Well, the ratings for the weekly sporting event did go up from the week before, and substantially, according to TVLine's report. A 25% increase saw the rating go up to 9.6 nationwide, with a combined (meaning both ESPN and local broadcast) 14.0 in New York markets and a staggering combined 32.3 (Yes, nearly one-third of Philly adults 18-49 watched the game) in Philadelphia markets. But that failed to hit the season high, let alone set any records, as the first MNF game of the season (Atlanta Falcons and, again Philadelphia Eagles) hit a 9.8 nationwide.

Halftime coverage is consistently the highest rated portion of the game - apparently people like to just check in and see how the first half went? - and last night was no exception there. The 11.7 was up 31% from last week, but again, did not equal or surpass the premiere, which had 13.9 during halftime.

For context, Sunday Night Football, which broadcasts on NBC, is consistently the highest rated live show each week, and this week's Colts-Patriots rematch hit a 14.6 rating.


So, Star Wars: The Force Awakens was more of a draw than the Chargers, but less of a draw than the Falcons. Of course, this is the age of the internet, and as much as the live broadcast was hyped up, literally the same moment that it started playing on ESPN, the trailer also went up on the Star Wars youtube account, and was posted to websites like our own before the initial broadcast had even completed. With 7.7 million views on the official Star Wars facebook post of the trailer and just shy of 11 million on the official youtube post as of this writing (not including all the other re-postings of it), it doesn't seem people were struggling to find the trailer when they wanted to watch it (again, and again, and again...).