via Fox Sports press release:
FLORIDA-OKLAHOMA TITLE BOUT CONCLUDES
FOX'S MOST-WATCHED BCS EVER
FOX ‘Chomps' Competition As Gators Win Second Title In Three Years
26.8 Million Viewers Marks +16% Improvement Over 2008 Title Game
New York, NY - The 2009 FedEx BCS National Championship game on FOX last night earned an outstanding 15.8/25 fast national rating/share and averaged 26.8 million viewers to make 2009 the most-watched BCS ever on FOX according to Nielsen Media Research. Last night's viewership is a +16% improvement over last year's 23.1 million (LSU-Ohio State). The network's 15.8 rating is a 10% improvement over last year's 14.4/22.
Anchored by the FedEx BCS National Championship Game, last night projects to be the second highest-rated and most-watched night in all of television this season-to-date. The BCS on FOX opened at a 14.0/23 and steadily climbed to a 17.7/26 peak by the end of the first half. After a halftime dip, ratings rallied throughout the second half, topping out at a 17.3/32 following Gators QB Tim Tebow's ‘jump pass' touchdown to WR David Nelson in the games closing minutes (11:30 - 11:49pm ET). See below for additional highlights of last night's game and all four BCS games on FOX:
§ FOX chomped last night's competition in prime time winning the night overall with an average rating and share of 14.8/23. FOX was followed by ABC (6.7/10), CBS (6.0/9) and NBC (3.8/6).
§ Last night projects to be FOX's strongest Thursday night in over five years, dating back to Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS (Yankees/Red Sox, 15.8/25).
§ FOX Sports estimates that over 50 million viewers tuned in for at least part of the BCS Championship Game.
§ FOX won all four BCS nights in the coveted Adults 18-49 demographic and Average Audience.
§ 2009 BCS on FOX averaged 16.8 million viewers, +16% better than last year's 14.5 million. On a ratings basis, this year's four-game average of 9.9/16 is +10% better than last year's 9.0/15.
§ Among all prime-time shows, the BCS would rank as a top five show among A18-49 and a top ten show among both households and average audience.
§ Oklahoma City topped all markets with a gargantuan 52.6/67, followed by Tulsa (47.8/63), Birmingham (41.8/53), Jacksonville (40.5/55), Tampa (32.5/49), Orlando (30.7/45), Austin (30.3/46), West Palm Beach (29.8/42), Fort Myers (28.4/42) and Columbus (26.7/40).