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Why are there two Monday Night Football games this week?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host the Eagles while the Bengals face the Los Angeles Rams in the second of three Monday night doubleheaders this NFL season.

Baker Mayfield, #6 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, hands the ball off to Rachaad White #1 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

We’re into the third week of action in the NFL, and the second of three Monday night doubleheaders concludes this weekend’s schedule. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Philadelphia Eagles get us underway at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa (7:15 p.m. EDT); an hour later, the Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams will be taking to the field in Cincinnati (8:15 p.m. EDT).

You can watch Monday Night Football on fubo

Monday Night Football (MNF) has been a regular feature of the NFL’s regular season program since the NFL and American Football League (AFL) merged in 1970. The New York Jets took on the Cleveland Browns in the first-ever Monday Night Football game to air on 21 September 1970 (the Browns won 31-21). Since then, over 700 MNF games have been played.

Whose idea was it to start Monday Night Football?

Football Commissioner Pete Rozelle is credited with boosting the sport’s popularity after striking deals with rival television networks NBC and CBS in 1970. ABC would televise one regular season game per week on Monday night as part of that deal. Monday Night Football is the longest-running non-news program on prime-time television in the United States.

Two Monday Night Football games

ESPN acquired the rights to broadcast Sunday Night Football games in 1987, which continued until 2006, when it took over the rights for Monday Night Football from ABC in an eight-year deal, with NBC taking over the Sunday night package. Under the new arrangement, 17 regular-season Monday night games were aired on ESPN with an 8:30 p.m. slot.

The first MNF doubleheader was broadcast in September 2006. The original idea was to air back-to-back games, with one on the East Coast and one on the West Coast. So on Monday, 11 September 2006, the Washington Redskins hosted the Minnesota Vikings then the Oakland Raiders faced the San Diego Chargers in the first-ever MNF doubleheader to be aired on prime-time television.

In March 2021, the Walt Disney Company, ESPN, and the NFL signed a 10-year deal starting September 2023, which included increasing Monday Night Football games from 17 to 23 per season,n. So instead of one MNF doubleheader, there are now three. Last, ESPN switched its doubleheader program from Week 1 to Week 2.

2023 NFL Monday Night Football doubleheaders

Week 2: 19 September 2023

  • New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers
  • Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Week 3 26 September 2023

  • Philadelphia Eagles @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Los Angeles Rams @ Cincinnati Bengals

Week 14 12 December 2023

  • Green Bay Packers @ New York Giants
  • Tennessee Titans @ Miami Dolphins

Watch Monday Night Football on fubo