Anyone who’s wanted to (legally) watch Monday Night Football since it moved from ABC to ESPN in 2006 has needed to have access to a cable subscription, but it’ll be a bit easier to tune into some of those primetime contests this season thanks to the strikes that have brought the entertainment industry to a standstill.
The impact of the work stoppages that were approved by the WGA and SAG-AFTRA earlier this year is probably pretty apparent to anyone who has tuned into a game on CBS or Fox in the past couple of weeks, as ads for generic sitcoms have been replaced by promos for the Yellowstone reruns, celebrity-centric game shows, and fairly uninspired reality competitions that have been deployed as a stopgap.
The strikes currently have no end in sight, and even if the studios who are largely responsible for the creative void that has formed do manage to agree to a deal with the unions, it will still take months for the industry to really get back up and running.
As a result, Variety reports ABC has opted to deploy some good, old-fashioned Corporate Synergy in an attempt to fill airtime and draw in viewers, as ESPN’s parent company has announced it plans to simulcast eleven upcoming iterations of Monday Night Football as opposed to the single one that was originally scheduled (the Week 11 showdown between the Chiefs and the Eagles).
ABC was already slated to handle four other NFL games in the form of overlapping doubleheaders with ESPN (that includes Monday’s game between the Browns and the Steelers, as well as three others set to take place in Week 3, 14, and 18).
It’s worth noting this only applies to the standard broadcast, as you’ll still need cable if you want to watch Peyton and Eli do their thing on the Manningcast. However, it should still be a pretty welcome change for cord-cutters and cheapskates who want to get their NFL fix.