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Raiders-Saints game scores Las Vegas’ highest ‘Monday Night Football’ local rating in 10 years

Raiders’ Las Vegas debut draws 15.6 million viewers, according to ESPN

New Orleans Saints v Las Vegas Raiders
Raiders win
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

This is a body blow for the “NFL is dead” crowd.

There was massive interest in Las Vegas’ Monday Night Football debut (both locally and nationally) and the Raiders’ opening of Allegiant Stadium in a 34-24 win over the New Orleans Saints.

The game, which was worthy of a big audience, drew a whopping 15.6 million viewers, ESPN announced Tuesday, along with a 31% year-over-year increase. Las Vegas scored it’s highest Monday Night Football local rating in over a decade, and it was the second most-watched game on a Monday night in 24 games.

This was a huge television event. There was talk that the league could see television viewership plummet because of the reaction of some players and teams during the national anthem in support of the racial and social movement. Clearly that has not happened.

The 2020 Week 2 viewership was up 31% from last year. Locally, Las Vegas had a 22.1 rating, and was the highest of all 44 local markets. The Raiders still have big appeal in California — the next highest markets were the Bay Area (16.2) and San Diego (15.6).