Friday, May 24, 2024

ABC will have only five Monday night games this year

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Monday Night Football debuted on ABC in 1970 and remained there until 2006. In recent years, it has returned for simulcasts and exclusive doubleheader games.

Last year, ABC had games every week, thanks to multiple Hollywood strikes that shut down the production of scripted shows. This year, ABC returns to only a handful of games.

In all, ABC will have five games: Two simulcasts (Jets-49ers in Week 1 and Lions-49ers in Week 17) and three exclusive games as part of a staggered doubleheader.

For Week 3, ABC has Commanders-Bengals at 8:15 p.m. ET. (ESPN has Jaguars-Bills at 7:30 p.m. ET.) In Week 4, ABC has Seahawks-Lions at 8:15 p.m. ET. (The ESPN game at 7:30 p.m. ET is Titans-Dolphins.) In Week 15, ABC has Bears-Vikings at 8:00 p.m. ET, with Falcons-Raiders on ESPN at 8:30 p.m. ET.

The numbers for Monday night games will be down this year, because ABC’s three-letter platform won’t be utilized on a regular basis. It will be for the P.R. professionals to figure out how to spin the basic reality that games on basic cable simply don’t attract the audience of the over-the-air networks.

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