The overtime thriller that was Notre Dame at Texas on ABC scored with viewers on Sunday. The game which ended with Texas winning 50-47 averaged a TV audience of 10.9 million viewers and a total of 786,000 unique viewers online. So combining the TV and online audience, the game averaged 11.093 million viewers. And it was the most-watched college football game of the weekend.
Notre Dame-Texas drew 7.0 overnight rating for ABC. Second -highest opening weekend game for ESPN/ABC in last 11 years.
— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) September 5, 2016
It also makes Notre Dame-Texas the most-watched opening weekend college football game on ABC over last year’s Ohio State-Virginia Tech game on ESPN which had 10.76 million total viewers.
The streaming audience for Fighting Irish-Longhorns set a new record for one link streaming for ESPN with the aforementioned 786K unique viewers watching 49,000,000 minutes.
Last night’s audience peaked at 13,522 million viewers between 11 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. ET as the game was ending in regulation and heading to overtime. Locally, three of the top-rated four markets were in Texas. Austin was on top with San Antonio placing third and Dallas-Forth Worth in fourth. Here’s how the top 10 markets played out:
1. Austin — 25.4
2. Birmingham — 17.3
3. San Antonio — 15.1
4. Dallas-Fort Worth — 13.1
5. Oklahoma City — 12.8
6. Columbus, OH — 12.7
7. Houston — 11.5
8. Indianapolis — 11.2
9. Knoxville — 11.0
10. Greenville — 10.7
Due to a very strong opening weekend schedule, ESPN/ABC had the top five highest overnight ratings with Notre Dame-Texas (7.0 overnight), USC-Alabama (4.9), LSU-Wisconsin (4.9), Oklahoma-Houston (4.0) and Clemson-Auburn (2.8).
So with the success of the opening weekend, one has to expect that ESPN would plan on doing this again to kickoff the college football season.