Monday Night Football has a long history. MNF Games have gone a long way over the last 50 years through ABC. Then, it was moved to ESPN in 2006 until today. This writing piece will be describing all about the history of Monday Night Football Games.
CBS and NBC declined the proposal of the NFL on primetime football. After the decline, ABC received the proposal. The president of ABC, Roone Arledge, granted the proposal. Thus Monday Night Football was born.
- On September 21, 1970, MNF first aired on ABC.
- Arledge selected Howard Cosell, Keith Jackson, and Don Meredith as the Monday Night Football’s first broadcast team.
- In 1974, Fred Williamson was selected by ABC as a replacement for Meredith.
- In 1975, they started using the theme music titled “Heavy Action.”
- From 1977 to 1986, ABC’s aired NFL games on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. Later it was billed by the network as a special Thursday/Saturday/Sunday Night Edition of Monday Night Football.
- Monday Night Football continued with the halftime show with notable guests during the 1980 season.
- Monday Night Football telecasts added a computer-generated yellow line indicating where a team needed to get a first down beginning in 1999.
- ABC changed its scoring bug into a horizontal time-score banner across the bottom of the screen from the 2005 season.
- ABC and the NFL both came together and announced the end of their 36-year partnership with the Monday Night Football on April 18, 2005.
- ESPN aired the first regular-season of the Monday Night Football Game on September 11, 2006, after the partnership between ABC and NFL ended on April 18, 2005.
- ESPN began with the team with Al Michaels and Joe Theismann in the booth, along with Michele Tafoya and Suzy Kolber as sideline reporters.
- ESPN announced Mike Tirico would replace Michaels on February 8, 2006.
- Steve Young joined Greenberg, Golic, and Kolber on September 14, 2009.
- The game of the Packers-Vikings on October 5, 2009, was the 4th ESPN MNF broadcast with 21.839 million viewers.
NFL Monday night football ratings history
ABC aired from the period of 1970 to 2005. ESPN started airing from 2006 to up until today. Monday Night Football had 12.6 million viewers in 2019. The number of viewers was about 11.6 million in 2018. In 2017, the total number of viewers was about 10.76 million. In 2016 and 2015, the numbers of viewers were 11.36 million and 12.9 million, respectively.
Why did Monday Night Football moved from ABC to ESPN?
The move had been in effect for the first eight years broadcasting from the period of 1970 to 1977 with a result of huge declining ratings. Additionally, the problems raised with potential playoff teams, only entitled to have four days rest between the time of the regular-season game and first-round playoff game.
Monday Night Football (MNF) is one of the most popular games in the United States of America. However, ABC began airing this, but ESPN is now the only approved channel to broadcast Monday Night Football. Monday Night Football is also available live in Canada on TSN and RIS, and most parts of Europe it is on ESPN America.