Ohio State Week 8 Oct 21, 2023; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Kyle McCord (6) hands off to running back Chip Trayanum (19) during the second half of the NCAA football game against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Ohio Stadium. Ohio State won 20-12.

Fox Sports delivered another massive broadcast in its Big Noon window in Week 8.

The company announced that its broadcast of Ohio State’s win over Penn State at noon Saturday averaged 9.955 million viewers, the season’s third-most-watched game (behind Colorado-Oregon and Ohio State-Notre Dame, both in Week 4).

CBS also pulled its most-watched game of the season in Week 8, averaging 8.01 million viewers for Alabama’s win over Tennessee to win the 3:30 p.m. ET window.

Primetime games ranked third through fifth on the week, led by ABC’s average audience of 4.08 million for Florida State’s win over Duke. NBC ranked fourth for Michigan’s blowout win over Michigan State (3.73 million) and Fox ranked fifth for Utah’s win over USC (3.23 million).

In other viewership news from Week 8, both CBS and NBC had doubleheader, and the early game for each finished fourth in their respective timeslots. CBS averaged 1.21 million viewers for Air Force’s win over Army at noon, ranking behind not only Fox, but also ABC and ESPN, while NBC averaged 1.68 million for Minnesota’s win over Iowa at 3:30 p.m. ET, ranking behind CBS, Fox, and ABC.

The CW also deserves a shoutout. In primetime, the network’s broadcast of Virginia’s upset win over North Carolina averaged 788,000 viewers, ranking fifth in the timeslot behind ABC, NBC, Fox, and ESPN. It beat both FS1 (Texas Tech-BYU) and ESPN2 (TCU-Kansas State) head-to-head. It’s also the most-watched game of the season for The CW, eclipsing Week 2’s broadcast of Cincinnati-Pittsburgh (617,000).

In Week 9, the schedule is far less appealing. The noon window isn’t great, with Florida State-Wake Forest on ABC, Oklahoma-Kansas on Fox, and Indiana-Penn State on CBS. The 3:30 p.m. window is much better, featuring Georgia-Florida on CBS, BYU-Texas on ABC, Oregon-Utah on Fox, and Pitt-Notre Dame on NBC. Fox is sitting out primetime in Week 9 due to the World Series, but ABC will air Colorado-UCLA and NBC has Ohio State-Wisconsin.

[Data via Sports Media Watch]

About Joe Lucia

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