ESPN Monday Night Countdown (officially Monday Night Countdown presented by Subway) is an American pregame television program that is broadcast on ESPN, preceding Monday Night Football. When it debuted in 1993 as NFL Prime Monday, and Monday Night Football was airing on ABC, the pregame show was one of the first cross-pollinations between ESPN and ABC Sports, which each largely operated under separate management at the time. The show was renamed Monday Night Countdown in 1998, and Monday Night Football moved from ABC to ESPN in 2006. The current sponsor is presented by Subway, starting with the 2020 season. Previous sponsors of the show include UPS, Applebee’s, Call of Duty, and Courtyard by Marriott
The show was initially hosted by Mike Tirico along with analysts Joe Theismann, Craig James, Phil Simms and Ron Jaworski. Mike Ditka also discussed certain topics and Chris Mortensen brought news and rumors from around the league. John Clayton was also a regular guest on the show. Former presenters include Mike Tirico, Bill Parcells, Michael Irvin, and Sterling Sharpe. During the 2005 season, it enjoyed its best ratings ever and was the highest-rated studio sports show on cable television. On occasion, the crew appeared on-site at the game, but for the most part the show was aired from the studios in Bristol, Connecticut.
In 2006, the show began appearing at the Monday Night Football site live as the game moved to ESPN from ABC. Stuart Scott moved to host of NFL Primetime which precedes Monday Night Countdown and Chris Berman moved from NFL Primetime to Monday Night Countdown and was joined by returning analysts Tom Jackson and Michael Irvin along with new analyst from Sunday NFL CountdownSteve Young. Ron Jaworski also contributed to the show along with Chris Mortensen, Ed Werder and Sal Paolantonio. Also, in 2006 Monday Night Countdown introduced a new logo and new graphics as part of The Syndicate’s new NFL package for ESPN. In the same fashion as all ESPN NFL studio shows, Monday Night Countdown adopted ABC‘s alternate football musical theme, though presented as a shuffle.