Washington Week 7 Rome Odunze Oct 14, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Washington Huskies wide receiver Rome Odunze (1) celebrates scoring a touchdown against the Oregon Ducks in the late fourth quarter at Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

For the third time in four weeks, a Pac-12 conference game was the weekend’s most-watched college football game.

Washington’s win over Oregon averaged 7.04 million viewers in the 3:30 p.m. ET window on ABC, the most-watched game of Week 7. Pac-12 games also topped the charts in Week 4 (Colorado-Oregon, 10.03 million) and Week 5 (USC-Colorado, 7.24 million).

A third Pac-12 team, USC, also played in Week 7’s second-most-watched game. The Trojans’ defeat to Notre Dame averaged 6.8 million viewers (via NBC’s Total Audience Delivery metric) in primetime.

The rest of the schedule was somewhat mediocre. Tennessee’s win over Texas A&M averaged 4.38 million viewers on CBS going head-to-head with Washington-Oregon. At noon, Fox’s broadcast of Indiana-Michigan averaged 3.55 million viewers, just edging out ESPN’s broadcast of Arkansas-Alabama (3.43 million viewers). Colorado’s shocking loss to Stanford drew a comparatively low 3.29 million viewers, but the game aired at 10 p.m. ET on a Friday night. That’s still good for the third-most-watched weeknight game of the season, behind Clemson-Duke (4.39 million) on Labor Day and Nebraska-Michigan (3.49 million) on the opening Thursday of this season.

The four broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC) all had at least one dud window in Week 7. The CBS broadcast of Georgia-Vanderbilt at noon averaged 2.46 million viewers, ranking third in the window. ABC’s broadcast of Syracuse-Florida State ranked fourth, averaging 2.09 million viewers. In the late afternoon window, Fox aired Iowa-Wisconsin, ranking third with 2.34 million viewers. NBC aired Illinois-Maryland and slotted in fourth, averaging just 1.14 million viewers. Fox came in fourth during the primetime window, averaging 1.43 million viewers for UCLA-Oregon State.

Looking ahead to Week 8, the Pac-12’s dominant viewership run will likely come to an end. Fox has the weekend’s marquee game at noon with a top-ten matchup between Penn State and Ohio State. At 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS has the standout game, airing a top-20 matchup between Tennessee and Alabama. ABC, Fox, and NBC all have appealing primetime matchups. ABC and Fox both air top-20 matchups (Duke-Florida State and Utah-USC, respectively), while NBC has a rivalry game between Michigan and Michigan State. As for viewership darling Colorado, the Buffaloes have a Week 8 bye, so they won’t be a factor this coming weekend.

[Data via Sports Media Watch]

About Joe Lucia

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