Florida State LSU Sep 3, 2023; Orlando, Florida, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jordan Travis (13) runs away from Louisiana State Tigers linebacker Ovie Oghoufo (2) during the second half at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida State Seminoles (No. 8 in the preseason AP poll) took down LSU (No. 5 in that poll) 45-24 Sunday, and they did so in front of a whole lot of viewers on ABC. As ESPN PR noted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, the 9.1 million viewers for that game were higher than every Sunday regular-season opener except Notre Dame-Texas (which drew a TV audience of 10.9 million viewers and a total of 786,000 unique viewers online).

FSU’s 45-24 win over LSU was the second most-watched Labor Day Sunday game on record and the most-watched Sunday opener since 2016. Last night’s audience peaked with 1o.3 million viewers, which is certainly notable amidst the ongoing carriage dispute between Disney and Charter.

Sunday’s contest was a rematch of last year’s Labor Day Sunday game, which drew 7.554 million viewers, and was the third most-viewed Sunday opening game on record. According to ESPN, the viewership numbers for Sunday were up over 20% from 2022.

Last season’s game was ESPN’s second-most watched game during Week 1. That figure was wildly impressive considering neither team was ranked at the time of kickoff. So, it’s understandable that viewership was up 20% besides the final score being lopsided, as both teams entered Sunday’s contest ranked as top-10 teams in the AP preseason poll.

So with the success of the opening weekend, one has to expect that ESPN would plan on doing this again to kick off the 2024 college football season.


About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.