LOS ANGELES — ABC will be airing more “Monday Night Football” games than originally planned.
An additional 10 games originally set to appear only on ESPN will be simulcast on ABC. The additional games will be on network television because of the ongoing strikes by the Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents Disney, Netflix, Amazon and others.
The strikes, which have been going on for months, have delayed most of the upcoming fall television season.
When the NFL schedule was announced in May, ABC had four exclusive regular-season games — including Monday night's matchup between the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers — and five being part of an ESPN simulcast.
Last Monday's game between the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills averaged 22.6 million viewers on ESPN, ABC, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes. New York’s 22-16 overtime victory was the most-watched Monday night game since ESPN took over the package in 2006.
The move also means that ABC has a game all 18 weeks of the regular season along with simulcasts of two playoff games.
"Monday Night Football" is also amping up the entertainment with a new anthem and show open on Monday.
Phil Collins' beloved "In the Air Tonight" is reimagined by Grammy-award winner Chris Stapleton, Snoop Dogg and drummer Cindy Blackman Santana. The new rendition of the song will debut on Monday night.
The new song adds to the star-studded music lineup contributing to "Monday Night Football" this year. ESPN previously announced that music from singer Justin Timberlake and music producer Timbaland will be featured in promotional spots, live telecasts and pre-game shows this season.
“It was fascinating to me to see how one song could get you in that mode to go kick some tail,” two-time Super Bowl champion and Steelers legend Hines Ward said in an ESPN feature about the song.
A new show open is set to include appearances from NFL stars, game highlights and "dramatic moments intercut with dramatic performances from all three artists."
Despite the musical revamp, "Monday Night Football" fans should remain at ease since the iconic "Heavy Action" theme music will remain a key part of the broadcast's presentation.