Watching the NFL isn’t easy for Spanish-speaking fans, but Monday Night Football is about to become much more accessible.
According to Sports Business Daily, ESPN will have Spanish simulcasts of Monday Night Football for the first 10 weeks of the season on ESPN2. The weekly games have long been available in Spanish on ESPN Deportes, but the simulcast on ESPN2 will expand the availability for Spanish speakers.
ESPN2 is available in about 88 million homes, according to Nielsen, while ESPN Deportes is available in only about 5.9 million.
“Appealing to a Hispanic audience is a priority for us,” Burke Magnus, ESPN’s executive vice president of programming and scheduling, told Sports Business Daily. “Obviously, it’s also a priority for the NFL in terms of growing their fan base and tracking on the changing demographics of the country.”
It’s likely a good decision for ESPN, which used to show poker tournaments and repeats of “30 for 30” on ESPN2 during Monday Night Football broadcasts.
The NFL has made recent efforts to expand its brand in Mexico and played a regular-season game in the country for the first time in over a decade last year when the Houston Texans and Oakland Raiders met in Estadio Azteca. The NFL will return to Mexico in November when the New England Patriots and Oakland Raiders play a Week 11 game.
Popularity of American football in the country has skyrocketed, and ESPN is wise to ride that wave and make the NFL more accessible to Spanish-speaking fans.