With the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes extending well into the fall season, Disney-ABC has made a sensible programming move to prop up the ABC fall broadcast schedule, simulcasting 10 additional Monday Night Football games on both ABC and ESPN.
Originally, ABC had planned to run two hours of Dancing With the Stars from 8 p.m. - 10 p.m. on Mondays, with new reality spinoff The Golden Bachelor airing at 10 p.m.
The network has decided to pair The Golden Bachelor with nine-year-old sibling Bachelor in Paradise to fill Thursday primetime, while DWTS will move to Tuesdays, starting September 26.
Disney had earlier planned to simulcast Monday night's MNF game between the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers on ABC and ESPN+, with linear ESPN and ESPN 2 showing a slightly earlier starting game between the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers
So Monday night's matchups aren't part of the additional simulcasts that were just announced.
Those additional simulcast games include:
Oct. 2 -- Seattle Seahawks at New York Giants
Oct. 9 -- Green Bay Packers and Las Vegas Raiders
Oct. 16 -- Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Chargers
Oct. 23 -- San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings
Oct. 30 -- The Raiders at Detroit Lions
Nov. 6 -- Charters at New York Jets
Nov. 13 -- Denver Broncos at Buffalo bills.
Nov. 27 Chicago Bears at Vikings
Dec. 4 -- Cincinnati Bangals at Jacksonville Jaguars
Dec. 18 -- Kansas City Chiefs vs. New England Patriots
The move injects three-plus hours of premium, strike-proof live sports into ABC's primetime lineup at a moment when the network could certainly use the momentum.
Last Monday (Sept. 11), Disney drew a record MNF average audience of 22.6 million viewers across ESPN, ESPN 2 and ABC for its season-opening matchup featuring quarterback Aaron Rodgers making its first but ultimately ill-fated start as a New York Jets. After three plays against the Buffalo Bills, Rodgers left on a cart, for good (or at least until next season).
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Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!