There are two ‘Monday Night Football’ games this week — why?
(NEXSTAR) — If you were looking to see who plays in “Monday Night Football” for Week 2, you may have had to do a double-take after seeing two games slated rather than the traditional single game.
You may recall seeing this last year. The Tennessee Titans faced off against the Buffalo Bills in Week 2 and the Minnesota Vikings played the Philadelphia Eagles in the first-ever two-game Monday Night Football series as part of a new deal.
It’s part of new broadcasting agreements the NFL reached with ESPN. The deal, completed in 2021, gave ESPN and fellow Disney-owned network ABC more games, The Athletic explains.
September 18 marks one of three multigame Mondays this season. In this round, the New Orleans Saints will visit the Carolina Panthers, with the game set to kick off at 7:15 p.m. ET on ESPN. Then, an hour later, the Cleveland Browns will play against the Pittsburgh Steelers on ABC.
You can expect the second half of the Saints-Panthers game to overlap with the first half of the Browns-Steelers game, ESPN told The Athletic.
There will be another doubleheader Monday next week, starting with the Philadelphia Eagles visiting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, followed by the Los Angeles Rams at the Cincinnati Bengals.
Christmas Day will mark yet another multigame Monday, when three games are played: the Las Vegas Raiders against the Kansas City Chiefs, the New York Giants versus the Dallas Cowboys, and the Baltimore Ravens against the San Francisco 49ers.
Previously, doubleheaders were held on the first Monday of the season, according to NorthJersey.com.
ABC will also be airing more Monday Night Football games than originally planned due to ongoing strikes by the Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents Disney, Netflix, Amazon and others.
The strikes, which have been going on for months, have delayed most of the upcoming fall television season.
When the NFL schedule was announced in May, ABC had four exclusive regular-season games — including Monday night’s matchup between the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers — and five being part of an ESPN simulcast.
The move also means that ABC has a game all 18 weeks of the regular season along with simulcasts of two playoff games.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.