The last week of the college football regular season is in the books, and you all know what the most-watched game of the week was.
We talked about viewership for Michigan’s win over Ohio State on Monday. The final number for the game was 17.137 million, and everything we said a couple of days ago is still true – Fox’s most-watched regular season game ever, the most-watched regular season game in over a decade, etc. Needless to say, the game was up from both last week and last year.
In the noon window, the other games didn’t give much competition to Michigan-Ohio State. ABC’s broadcast of South Carolina’s upset win over Clemson averaged 2.324 million viewers, down from last week (Illinois-Michigan), and up from last year (Georgia-Georgia Tech). ESPN’s broadcast of Georgia-Georgia Tech averaged 2.06 million viewers, up from last week (Wisconsin-Nebraska) and last year (Florida-Florida State). ESPN2 aired West Virginia-Oklahoma State, and drew 694,000 viewers, up from last week (Oregon State-Arizona State, starting at 2:15 PM ET) and last year (Wake Forest-Boston College). BTN aired Rutgers-Maryland, which drew just 97,000 viewers, down from last week (Indiana-Michigan State) and last year (Rutgers-Maryland).
The Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn claimed the 3:30 PM ET window, drawing 6.271 million viewers. That’s up from Georgia-Kentucky last week, but down from last year’s Iron Bowl. Fox’s broadcast of TCU-Iowa State drew 4.339 million viewers, up from Iowa-Minnesota last week and down from Wisconsin-Minnesota last year. ABC’s broadcast of Oregon-Oregon State averaged 3.557 million viewers, down from both Ohio State-Maryland last week and Penn State-Michigan State last year. FS1 drew a strong audience of 1.991 million viewers for Penn State-Michigan State, up from last week (Texas-Kansas) and last year (Indiana-Purdue). ESPN averaged 1.705 million for Minnesota-Wisconsin, up from last week (Miami-Clemson) and last year (Oregon-Oregon State). NBC drew 720,000 for Grambling-Southern, up from the same matchup at 5 PM on NBCSN last year. ESPN2 drew 213,000 for Memphis-SMU, down from last week (Georgia Tech-North Carolina, starting at 5:30 PM ET) and up from last year (Tulsa-SMU).
ABC’s broadcast of Notre Dame-USC won the primetime window, averaging 6.681 million viewers. That’s up from Bedlam both last week and last year. ESPN’s broadcast of Texas A&M’s upset win over LSU averaged 3.921 million viewers, down from last week (Tennessee-South Carolina) and up from the same matchup last year. Fox drew 2.316 million viewers for Kansas-Kansas State, down from USC-UCLA last week and down from Notre Dame-Stanford last year. Oklahoma-Texas Tech on FS1 averaged 1.211 million viewers, up from last week (Texas Tech-Iowa State) and last year (West Virginia-Kansas). On ESPN2, 329,000 watched UCF-South Florida, with no comparable game last week and down from last year (Kentucky-Louisville).
Late night was slim pickings this week. The Apple Cup averaged 2.38 million viewers on ESPN, down from last week (Utah-Oregon) and up from last year (BYU-USC). FS1 averaged 453,000 for BYU-Stanford, up from last week (San Jose State-Utah State) and last year (Cal-UCLA). ESPN2 aired an FCS Playoff game between Southeast Missouri State and Montana, which averaged 258,000 viewers. That’s down from last week (UAB-LSU) with no comparable game last year.
We’ll also look at Thursday and Friday, only comparing to last year, since there were some notable highlights those days.
The Egg Bowl on Thanksgiving averaged 2.231 million viewers on ESPN, up from the same game.
Baylor-Texas at noon Friday averaged 2.69 million viewers on ESPN, with no comparable game last year. 1.719 million watched Tulane-Cincinnati on ABC, which also had no comparable game last year. Utah State-Boise State on CBS averaged 1.438 million viewers, down from Boise State-San Diego State last year.
In the afternoon, NC State-North Carolina drew 3.605 million viewers on ABC, up from last year (Cincinnati-East Carolina). Missouri-Arkansas averaged 3.274 million on CBS, up from the same game last year. UCLA-Cal drew 3.271 million on Fox, up from last year (Colorado-Utah). BTN drew 1.47 million for Nebraska-Iowa, down from the same matchup last year. Arizona State-Arizona averaged 567,000 viewers on FS1, up from TCU-Iowa State last year.
Friday’s primetime window was highlighted by Florida-Florida State on ABC, which drew 6.71 million viewers, the second-highest audience of the week. In the late night window on FS1, Wyoming-Fresno State drew 260,000 viewers. Neither game had a direct comp last year.