Why are there two NFL games tonight? History of ESPN's 'Monday Night Football' doubleheader

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Football fans can't ever prime which crippled they privation to watch. Especially during primetime windows, erstwhile lone 1 crippled is going connected and, sometimes, the crippled gets to beryllium a little uninteresting to watch, and different enactment mightiness beryllium preferred.

For back-to-back Mondays this year, ABC and ESPN volition springiness fans a accidental to ticker 2 games that volition beryllium carried during overlapping times, with the 2 matchups starting an hr apart. In Week 2, viewers volition person their prime betwixt watching either the Panthers big the Saints oregon the Steelers big the Browns successful a brace of divisional matchups.

This volition beryllium the 2nd consecutive play of a doubleheader successful Week 2, though determination is simply a agelong ESPN past of carrying games connected the aforesaid night.

With that, Sporting News breaks down the reasoning to hold the doubleheader to Week 2, arsenic good arsenic the past of ESPN's "MNF" broadcast.

Why are determination 2 NFL games tonight?

NFL fans person agelong enjoyed the Week 1 contented of a "Monday Night Football" doubleheader. That has been the lawsuit since 2006, erstwhile ESPN archetypal acquired the last primetime slot of the week.

But starting past year, ESPN pushed backmost the commencement of the doubleheaders until Week 2. According to Sports Illustrated, portion of the crushed for that successful 2022 was to enactment the caller pairing of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman connected show successful a standalone crippled successful Week 1.

Just similar past year, the games volition besides diagnostic staggered starts, with 1 starting astatine 7:15 p.m. ET and the adjacent opening astatine 8:15 p.m. ET. It volition beryllium the aforesaid staggered starts for some Week 2 and Week 3. There is simply a method to the staggered starts, per The Athletic: real-time information connected spectator involvement for the champion commencement times connected Monday.

The web volition besides person a Week 14 doubleheader wherever some games volition commencement astatine 8:15 p.m. ET.

“We’re going to larn much astir what optimizes best, and I deliberation by adjacent twelvemonth we’ll proceed to hone connected driving the biggest viewership betwixt the 2 games,” ESPN president of contented Burke Magnus said, per The Athletic. “We volition larn if it is amended to commencement with the ABC game, the ESPN game, oregon the different mode around.

"Later successful the year, successful Week 14, we’re doing some games astatine the aforesaid time. The thought determination is, tin we harvester full assemblage and bash a small spot similar we utilized to bash successful the aged days of assemblage shot wherever we make a simultaneous nationalist and determination entreaty and usage our networks to bash that successful a azygous window? Then it combines to benignant of similar a ace assemblage full number.”

The NFL's enforcement vice president of media organisation Hans Schroeder called the league's concern with the Disney household of networks a "unique opportunity" to "innovate and make a caller viewing experience."

“You’ll spot much look-ins successful betwixt the games. You’ll spot much sum betwixt the 2 games going on, you’ll spot things astatine halftime successful those archetypal mates weeks wherever they spell to the different game," Schroeder said, per The Athletic. "The full tendency is, however bash we make a caller and antithetic and compelling mode for fans to ticker games, and however bash we proceed to trial and innovate arsenic we bash that? We’re truly excited for those side-by-sides with Disney.”

The 2 sides are successful the archetypal authoritative twelvemonth of a 10-year extension, signed successful March 2021 and moving done 2033, that increases the fig of "Monday Night Football" games from 17 to 23, done by having 3 doubleheaders per year. The woody is reportedly worthy $2.6 billion.

What channels are tonight's 'Monday Night Football' games on?

There volition beryllium 2 "Monday Night Football" games successful Week 2. The archetypal volition beryllium betwixt the Saints and Panthers astatine 7:15 p.m. ET, which volition beryllium connected ESPN and ESPN2. Starting an hr aboriginal volition beryllium the Browns and Steelers successful Pittsburgh, which volition statesman astatine 8:15 p.m. ET connected ABC.

In the past, ESPN would person started 1 crippled astatine 7 p.m. ET and the adjacent astatine 10 p.m. ET. But Disney made the alteration to stagger the kickoffs that volition let for occasional double-box views to ticker some games, and person container scores for some games astatine the aforesaid time.

In Week 3, fans tin commencement with the Eagles and Buccaneers astatine 7:15 p.m. ET connected ABC oregon ticker the Bengals look the Rams astatine 8:15 p.m. ET connected ESPN and ESPN2.

Below you tin spot which transmission the respective Week 2 games volition beryllium on; careless of which crippled you privation to watch, some tin beryllium streamed via Fubo, which carries the ABC household of networks and offers a escaped trial.

Saints astatine Panthers

  • Time: 7:15 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN | ESPN2
  • Streaming: ESPN App, Fubo

Browns astatine Steelers

  • Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
  • TV: ABC | ESPN+
  • Streaming: ESPN App, Fubo

Who is calling the 'MNF' games?

ESPN's superior "Monday Night Football" broadcast squad of Buck (play-by-play), Aikman (color commentator) and Lisa Salters (sideline reporter) volition telephone the Browns-Steelers crippled successful Pittsburgh.

A secondary broadcast squad comprised of Chris Fowler, Dan Orlovsky, Louis Riddick and Laura Rutledge volition telephone the Saints-Panthers crippled successful Charlotte.

John Parry volition enactment some games arsenic an officiating expert, arsenic needed.

History of 'MNF' doubleheaders

ESPN has had a scheduled doubleheader each play dating backmost to 2006 but one, which was successful 2021. The crushed for that was that ESPN and the NFL agreed to a Week 18 doubleheader, which past eliminated the Week 1 doubleheader.

The "MNF" doubleheader picked backmost up successful 2022, with Bills-Titans and Eagles-Vikings.

Date Game results
Sept. 11, 2006 Vikings 19, Redskins 16
  Chargers 27, Raiders 0
Sept. 10, 2007 Bengals 27, Ravens 20
  49ers 20, Cardinals 17
Sept. 8, 2008 Packers 24, Vikings 19
  Broncos 41, Raiders 14
Sept. 14, 2009 Patriots 25, Bills 24
  Chargers 24, Raiders 20
Sept. 13, 2010 Ravens 10, Jets 9
  Chiefs 21, Chargers 14
Sept. 12, 2011 Patriots 38, Dolphin 24
  Raiders 23, Broncos 20
Sept. 10, 2012 Ravens 44, Bengals 13
  Chargers 22, Raiders 14
Sept. 9, 2013 Eagles 33, Redskins 27
  Texans 31, Chargers 28
Sept. 8, 2014 Lions 35, Giants 14
  Chargers 18, Cardinals 17
Sept. 14, 2015 Falcons 26, Eagles 24
  49ers 20, Vikings 3
Sept. 12, 2016 Steelers 38, Redskins 16
  49ers 28, Rams 0
Sept. 11, 2017 Vikings 29, Saints 19
  Broncos 24, Chargers 21
Sept. 10, 2018 Jets 48, Lions 17
  Rams 33, Raiders 13
Sept. 9, 2019 Saints 30, Texans 28
  Raiders 24, Broncos 16
Sept. 14, 2020 Steelers 26, Giants 16
  Titans 16, Broncos 14
Sept. 19, 2022 Bills 41, Titans 7
  Eagles 24, Vikings 7
Sept. 18, 2023 Saints astatine Panthers
  Browns astatine Steelers
Sept. 25, 2023 Eagles astatine Buccaneers
  Rams astatine Bengals
Dec. 11, 2023 Packers astatine Giants
  Titans astatine Dolphins
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