Arizona Bowl Wyoming Dec 30, 2023; Tucson, AZ, USA; Wyoming Cowboys head coach Craig Bohl and the Wyoming Cowboys sideline celebrate after a play during the second half against the Toledo Rockets in the Arizona Bowl at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Last Saturday’s Arizona Bowl on The CW got creamed head-to-head by Georgia’s blowout win over Florida State in the Orange Bowl on ESPN, but still ranked as The CW’s second-most-watched college football game on record.

Wyoming’s win over Toledo averaged 1.102 million viewers on The CW, behind just North Alabama-Florida State back in Week 12 (1.33 million viewers) in the network’s first year airing college football.

The game was also streamed on Barstool Sports, the bowl’s title sponsor.

Even though the Orange Bowl was wholly non-competitive, the game averaged 10.386 million viewers on ESPN. That proved to be stiff competition for the Arizona Bowl, starting at nearly the same time. The start of the game also went up against the end of the Music City Bowl, which averaged 2.633 million viewers on ABC.

In better news for The CW, the bowl game beat a CBS college basketball broadcast of UCLA-Oregon (782,000) head-to-head. Throughout the day, the Arizona Bowl also topped (in other windows Saturday) an NBC Premier League broadcast of Manchester United vs Nottingham Forest, a trio of college basketball games airing on the Fox broadcast network, and another CBS college basketball broadcast (Creighton-Marquette).

The CW also aired a pair of college basketball games before the bowl game, with both doing okay compared to cable college basketball games in the same windows. Pitt-Syracuse averaged 386,000 at noon ET, with Queens-Duke averaging 382,000 at 2 p.m. ET. The noon game beat South Carolina-East Carolina on ESPN2, while the 2 p.m. game beat Indiana State-Michigan State on FS1, Minnesota-Iowa on BTN, and Virginia Tech-Wake Forest on ESPN2.

With only the national championship remaining, the Arizona Bowl isn’t even in the bottom five of least-viewed bowl games during bowl season. The New Mexico Bowl, Independence Bowl, New Orleans Bowl, 68 Ventures Bowl, Hawaii Bowl, Frisco Bowl, and Boca Raton Bowl all drew fewer than the Arizona Bowl’s 1.102 million viewers.

[Data via Sports Media Watch]

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.