Army football’s first win over Navy since 2001 was not only a great boost to college football’s most revered rivalry, it was a great boost for CBS.
For the second consecutive year, the Army-Navy game has seen its highest ratings in many years. Last year’s game drew its highest ratings since 1996. This year’s contest? How about the rivalry’s highest ratings since 1994. Army-Navy drew a 5.6 rating, which is a 10% increase versus last year’s broadcast.
— CBS Sports PR (@CBSSportsGang) December 11, 2016
This year’s game featured what many believed to be Army’s best chance to beat the infamous streak in a number of years with their program slowly moving forward and Navy struggling with injuries. While the contest did feature a number of turnovers, the drama was gripping and Army eventually came through with a late fourth quarter score for the win. Both of those factors led to a huge rating and a few extra people might have even turned in for Verne Lundquist’s final college football broadcast.
Seeing ratings increase in recent years for Army-Navy shows that the decision to give the game its own weekend after the conference championship games is a great one, even if it might some day wreak havoc on the bowl system. This game and this rivalry deserves its own showcase where the nation is watching.