In the battle for viewers and ratings in the college football world, CBS and ESPN/ABC are both claiming victory. The SEC on CBS says its celebrating its eighth consecutive year as the “highest-rated regular season college football package on any network.”

CBS says its package of 17 SEC games including the conference championship game averaged a 3.4 rating with an 8 share saying it topped all other networks. In addition, Sports TV Ratings says CBS’ schedule averaged 5,651,000 million viewers.

Meanwhile, ESPN is crowing about ABC’s Saturday Night Football being “the most-watched college football franchise on any network this season..” ESPN says ABC’s primetime package of games averaged 5,996,000 viewers, up 10% from last year.

Sports TV Ratings says this marks the first time in at least four years that ABC’s Saturday Night Football beat the SEC on CBS.

For its entire package of games including noon and 3:30 p.m. ET windows, ABC averaged 5.175 million viewers.

The most-viewed game of the season was ABC’s Michigan at Ohio State on November 26 with an NFL-like 16.841 million viewers. CBS’ SEC Championship Game between Alabama and Florida with 11.1 million viewers last Saturday, December 3 was the second most-watched game.

But overall out of the top 9 most-watched games of the season, ABC had four games, CBS had three.

CBS can boast about its ratings and also having a higher viewership than last season. ESPN can hang its hat on ABC’s Saturday Night Football’s viewership.

Both networks can claim victory and take their numbers to their advertisers for next season and run to the bank.

[Sports TV Ratings]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.