Fewer people watched Monday Night Football in 2017, than at any time in recorded history.
Despite the massive $2 billion in fees the sports cable network pays the National Football League for broadcast rights to games and highlights, fans increasingly avoided the NFL on ESPN, according to Outkick the Coverage.
Year-end data shows that only about 12 percent of cable subscribers had tuned in to Monday Night Football on the sports network and the broadcast hit an all-time low this year.
In 2017, only 10,800,000 fans watched Monday Night Football on ESPN. The numbers show that ESPN lost around a million viewers each year since 2010 and the loss revealed a 35 percent decline since then.
ESPN also wrapped up 2017 averaging 10.8 million viewers for "Monday Night Football," which is the package's lowest figure on record. ESPN's previous low was 11.2 million in 2007. More in SBD tomorrow.
— Austin Karp (@AustinKarp) December 28, 2017
The 2017 viewership is lower than the 11,230,000 low set in 2007 and far less than the 14,657,000 high set in 2010.
ESPN’s troubles have been many and varied this year.
Along with a constant loss of viewers and subscribers, ESPN has withstood controversies built-up over constant left-wing political opinions foisted on sports coverage by on-air hosts and behind the scenes writers. The 39-year-old network has also been forced to layoff hundreds of workers. The year finally ended with the resignation of ESPN President John Skipper who abandoned his position supposedly to deal with a substance abuse problem.
The loss of subscribers, in particular, could force ESPN to give up its NFL broadcast rights in order to save the massive budget expense in an effort to keep the whole network afloat.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.