At first blush, it appears that ESPN began broadcasting Monday Night Football this year, taking over that American institution long held by its sister network, ABC. However, upon further review (as they like to say in the NFL), that might night not necessarily be the case. In fact, I now contend that ESPN actually kept Sunday Night Football, which was simply moved to Monday nights; and NBC actually got the rights to Monday Night Football, which was shifted to Sunday nights. I know this sounds crazy, so let me explain.
In previous years, the NFL tried to reserve some of the best games for Monday night, but this is no longer the case. Those games now seem to be set aside for Sunday night instead. Prior to this season, every team in the league (both good and bad) had to appear at least once during the season on Sunday night. This rule has now been abandoned.
The NFL has even implemented a concept known as "flexible scheduling" to ensure that the Sunday night schedule late in the season includes games between contending teams. During six of the last seven weeks of each season, games can be shifted from Sunday afternoon on Fox or CBS to Sunday night on NBC. No such effort is being made to make sure late season Monday night games aren't duds.
In addition, the broadcaster of Monday Night Football in the recent past owned the broadcast rights to the first two Wildcard playoff games each year and the Super Bowl every third year. These rights did not pass to ESPN when it inherited Monday Night Football. Instead, NBC, the broadcaster of Sunday night games, got those rights.
Now, tell me who really got Monday Night Football.