The bloom is beginning to come off the rose for the Colorado Buffaloes, but the team still played in college football’s most-watched game of Week 5.
The Buffaloes’ loss to USC on Saturday averaged 7.241 million viewers in Fox’s Big Noon window, the team’s least-watched game of the season and the first week-to-week decline for Colorado this season. It’s a drop of nearly three million viewers compared to last week’s blowout win by Oregon.
Despite those notes, Colorado still played in the most-watched game of the day by nearly a million viewers.
USC – Colorado delivered for @CFBONFOX ?
– Peaked at over 10 million viewers
– Most-watched telecast of the day on any network
Through Week 5, FOX's BIG NOON SATURDAY remains the most-watched college football window on any network ? pic.twitter.com/x1dlhWVt4h
— FOX Sports PR (@FOXSportsPR) October 3, 2023
Here’s an odd note about the noon window: ESPN’s broadcast of Florida-Kentucky (2.316 million viewers) actually beat ABC’s broadcast of Clemson-Syracuse (1.983 million viewers). That isn’t something you see every day.
In the afternoon, CBS Sports finished second overall for the day, averaging 6.399 million viewers for Georgia’s win over Auburn. It’s the most-watched game of the season for CBS by nearly a million viewers over South Carolina-Georgia in Week 3.
CBS Sports’ presentation of Georgia-Auburn on Saturday is the network’s most-watched week 5 game since 2015, and was up +51% vs. Georgia-Auburn in 2022: pic.twitter.com/G2JTJk9XYT
— CBS Sports PR (@CBSSportsGang) October 3, 2023
That CBS window also topped Fox’s Michigan-Nebraska matchup by nearly two million viewers (4.475 million viewers).
In primetime, ABC’s broadcast of Notre Dame’s tight win over Duke averaged 5.324 million to win the timeslot.
While Fox did not have a primetime game (it aired baseball), NBC did, and it wasn’t a pretty outcome. Michigan State-Iowa averaged just 2.170 million viewers, good for just the ninth-most-watched game of the day. On the bright side, it did beat Fox’s MLB coverage (1.680 million viewers).
Looking ahead to Week 6, it might be pretty bleak. Fox has Maryland-Ohio State in the Big Noon window, while ABC has Oklahoma-Texas and ESPN has LSU-Missouri. In the afternoon, CBS has Alabama-Texas A&M, ABC has Virginia Tech-Florida State, and Fox has UCF-Kansas. Primetime features Kentucky-Georgia on ESPN, Michigan-Minnesota on NBC, Notre Dame-Louisville on ABC, and Fresno State-Wyoming on Fox.
As for Colorado, they’ll be on the Pac-12 Network at 6:30 p.m. ET against Arizona State. Pac-12 Network isn’t Nielsen-rated, so we’re probably not going to get any viewership information on the Buffs next week.