ABC’s New Year’s Bowl Games Both See Increased Ratings
Strong Local Overnight Ratings for ESPN Bowl Games Include Many Records
BCS National Championship on ABC Thursday Night
Both of ABC’s New Year’s Day college football bowl games posted an increase in ratings, according to “fast national” data issued by the Nielsen Company. The Capital One Bowl – Penn State edged LSU 19-17 – was up 8 percent from last year to a 6.9 rating while the Rose Bowl presented by Citi, Ohio State’s 26-17 victory over Oregon, rose 12 percent from 2009 to 13.1. (Official figures may change slightly when final ratings are issued later this week.)
The Capital One Bowl was seen by an average of 7,884,000 homes, up 7 percent from 7,361,000 for Georgia vs. Michigan State a year ago (based on a 6.4 rating). The rise for viewers (P2+) was 8 percent – from 10,839,000 people in the average minute to 11,691,000. The 6.9 rating for this year’s game is the second highest for the game going back to 2001, only topped by a 9.1 two years ago when Michigan defeated Florida 41-35 in 2008. The local rating in New Orleans was the highest on record for a bowl game on ABC (records go back to 2005) or ESPN (back to 2000), a 23.8. The previous record was last season’s Chick-Fil-A Bowl between LSU and Georgia Tech, which earned a 17.3 on ESPN.
The Rose Bowl averaged 15,071,000 households, an increase of 12 percent over last year’s USC-Penn State broadcast (13,429,000 homes, based on a 11.7 rating). The P2+ increase was 16 percent, from 20,603,000 to 23,918,000. It was the highest-rated bowl game on record on ABC or ESPN in Columbus, Ohio (49.8, beating a 34.6 for the Oklahoma State/Ohio State Alamo Bowl on ESPN in December 2004) and in Portland, Ore. (32.2, topping a 19.4 for ABC’s 2006 Rose Bowl between USC and Michigan).
Strong Local Ratings for ESPN Bowl Games December 31 – January 2
ESPN televised seven bowl games in three days, Thursday, Dec. 31 – Saturday, Jan. 2, with six posting increases in the overnight rating from the metered markets (and one even with last year), with several notable local records and near records (ESPN records for overnights go back to 2000.)
Thursday, Dec. 31, 2009
Armed Forces Bowl, Houston vs. Air Force, 12-3:30 p.m. ET: 1.8 metered mkt average
(12/31/08, Houston/Air Force, 1.6 mtrd mkt rtg)
Texas Bowl, Navy vs. Missouri, 3:30-6:45 p.m.: 2.3 metered mkt average
(NFL Network: 12/30/08: 0.1 mtrd mkt rtg)
- St. Louis DMA = 8.6, second-highest rated Bowl game in St. Louis on ESPN/ESPN2 on record. The highest rated game is the Holiday Bowl, Texas/Oregon (12/29/08) with a 10.4.
Chick-Fil-A Bowl, Virginia Tech vs. Tenessee, 7:30-11 p.m. 4.3 metered mkt average
(12/31/08, LSU/Georgia Tech, 3.6 mtrd mkt rtg)
- Richmond DMA = 11.2, highest rated bowl game in Richmond on ESPN/ESPN2 on record. The previous record was the Chick-Fil-A Bowl between Georgia/Virginia Tech (12/30/06) with a 10.2.
- Norfolk DMA = 10.2, highest rated bowl game in Norfolk on ESPN/ESPN2 on record. The previous record was the Chick-Fil-A Bowl between Georgia/Virginia Tech (12/30/06) with a 10.0.
- Knoxville DMA = 30.6, third-highest rated bowl game in Knoxville on ESPN/ESPN2 on record. The highest rated is Wisconsin/Tennessee in the Outback Bowl (1/1/08) with a 34.5. The second-highest rated is Clemson/Tennessee Peach Bowl (1/2/04) with a 32.5.
- Washington, DC DMA = 6.1, second-highest rated bowl game in the market on ESPN/ESPN2 on record. The highest rated is the Peach Bowl, Tennessee/Maryland (12/31/02) with an 8.3.
Friday, Jan. 1, 2010
Outback Bowl, Northwestern vs. Auburn, 11 a.m.-3:15 p.m.: 3.7 metered mkt average
(1/1/09, South Carolina/Iowa, 2.8 mtrd mkt rtg)
- Chicago DMA = 7.1, highest rated Bowl game in Chicago on ESPN/ESPN2 on record. The previous record was the Alamo Bowl between Nebraska/Northwestern (12/30/00) with a 5.2.
Saturday, Jan. 2, 2010
Papajohn.com Bowl, South Carolina vs. Connecticut, 2-5:30 p.m.: 1.9 metered mkt average
(12/29/08, North Carolina St/Rutgers, 1.9 mtrd mkt rtg)
- Hartford DMA = 10.4, third-highest rated bowl game in Hartford on ESPN/ESPN2 on record. The highest rated game is the Motor City Bowl (Connecticut/Toledo, 12/27/04) with a 12.1. The second-highest rated is the Meineke Bowl (Connecticut/Wake Forest, 12/29/07) with an 11.8.
Liberty Bowl, Arkansas vs. East Carolina, 5:30-9:15 p.m.: 4.2 metered mkt average
(1/2/09, East Carolina/Kentucky, 2.5 mtrd mkt rtg)
- Charlotte DMA = 9.4, third-highest rated bowl game in Charlotte on ESPN/ESPN2 on record. The highest-rated game is the Meineke Bowl where West Virginia played North Carolina (12/27/08) with a 10.7. The second highest-rated was Clemson/Auburn in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl (12/31/07) with a 9.7.
Alamo Bowl, Michigan State vs. Texas Tech, 9:15 p.m.-1:15 a.m.: 5.2 metered mkt average
(12/29/08, Missouri/Northwestern, 4.0 mtrd mkt rtg)
- San Antonio DMA = 12.5, highest rated bowl game in San Antonio on ESPN/ESPN2 on record. The previous record was the Holiday Bowl between Washington/Texas (12/28/01) with a 9.4.
- Dallas DMA = 9.4, highest rated bowl game in Dallas on ESPN/ESPN2 on record. The previous record was the Holiday Bowl between Arizona St/Texas (12/27/07) with an 8.2.
- Houston DMA = 8.1, second-highest rated bowl game in Houston on ESPN/ESPN2 on record. The highest rated game was the Holiday Bowl, Texas/Oregon (12/29/00), with a 9.5.
- Detroit DMA = 10.6, third-highest rated bowl game in Detroit on ESPN/ESPN2 on record. The highest rated game was the Outback Bowl between Florida/Michigan (1/1/03) with a 18.0. The second-highest rated was the Alamo Bowl between Michigan/Nebraska (12/28/05) with a 16.4.
BCS National Championship on ABC Thursday Night
ESPN’s college football bowl schedule – 30 games across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Radio and ESPN360.com – will climax with the Citi BCS National Championship Game – No. 2 Texas vs. No. 1 Alabama – from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., on Thursday, Jan. 7, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC and ESPN Radio.
It will mark the first time ABC has aired the BCS National Championship since the 2006 game when Texas defeated USC 41-38 at the Rose Bowl. That broadcast holds the record for the highest-rated and most-viewed BCS National Championship with a 21.7 rating, 23,925,000 households and 35,627,000 viewers.
ESPN on ABC Saturday Night Football Presented by Southwest Airlines commentators Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit and Lisa Salters will work the National Championship on ABC. Reporter Tom Rinaldi will join Salters on the sideline. On ESPN Radio, ESPN Monday Night Football announcer Mike Tirico and analyst Jon Gruden will work the broadcast with analyst Todd Blackledge and reporter Wendi Nix.