Why Is Monday Night Football on ABC? Writers Strike Causes NFL Schedule Changes

Monday Night Football is back on ABC and the reason why may surprise you. Let's take a closer look at why football is back on the network.

If you are into nostalgia and an old-time football feel, well, you’re in luck this season. For at least one year, Monday Night Football is back on ABC full-time. While the reasons behind it may not be great, it doesn’t mean NFL purists can’t indulge anyway.

ABC will carry a Monday Night Football game every week of the season after adding 10 simulcasts that were initially scheduled to air exclusively on ESPN. That is in addition to the network already being scheduled to carry games in Weeks 2 and 3, and then again in Weeks 11, 14, 16, 17, and 18 of this season.

Hollywood Strike Forces Network To Pivot to Football This Fall

These changes are for one season only and are due to the ongoing strikes by Hollywood writers who have subsequently left ABC without any scripted Fall programming. As a result, ESPN will only carry three exclusive Monday night games on their own this season, each in weeks when ESPN and ABC are set for a split doubleheader.

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The games that will be in that lineup of doubleheaders for the network will be New Orleans Saints versus Carolina Panthers this week, Los Angeles Rams versus Cincinnati Bengals next week, and Tennesee Titans versus Miami Dolphins in Week 14.

Could This Be for More Than One Season?

While what the future holds for ABC and what the ongoing strike is unknown, the same can be said for its NFL coverage as well. Disney is in the midst of sale talks and negotiations that have not been sorted out yet. As a result, there is an ambiguity around ESPN’s existing rights deals and how they will affect the other networks.

Their current arrangement calls for games on ABC, and it is unclear if that will hold true for the network if it is no longer a part of the Disney family.

In addition to NFL coverage during the strike, questions remain on how, if it were to continue, it would affect other major sports and their coverage as the standoff goes along. ABC also has coverage for the NBA and NHL seasons, with that coverage not supposed to be starting until December and January, respectively.

Regardless of what the future holds for Monday Night Football on ABC beyond this year, fans, at least for the time being, who have been around a long time can get that old feeling they used to have when MNF was on ABC every week and enjoy the action.

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