8:12am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: Rams' First Game as L.A. Team Pulls Weak 'MNF' Audience
ESPN's first Monday Night Football outing of the season was doubly interesting. Not only was it the cable's first NFL game of the young season, but it also marked the first official primetime showing for the newly minted Los Angeles Rams.
The second game in a double-header (and a complete shutout), the Rams' 28-0 loss to the San Francisco 49ers averaged a 7.1 rating among households in Nielsen's metered markets. That's a steep 25 percent drop from the second game last year, which took a 9.5 overnight rating.
The lack of competitive play certainly helps explain the low ratings, but there was a great deal of interest in 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the Rams bow as an L.A. team leading into the match-up.
Despite the heat around the Rams' move, it comes as little surprise that San Francisco outrated Los Angeles in individual markets. The northern neighbor averaged a 23.7 rating, towering over the 16.1 rating from the L.A. market.
Game 1 wasn't that much more competitive, but it did pull a bigger crowd. The Steelers' 38-16 win against the Washington Redskins averaged a 9.1 overnight rating, barely off from a year ago. The comparable 2015 opener averaged a 9.8 in metered market results.
More to come...