via press release:
Bowl Game Audiences Grow on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2
ABC, ESPN & ESPN2 Post Most-Viewed Bowl Seasons
ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 college football bowl games posted significant audience growth over last season, highlighted by:
ABC's broadcast of the Citi BCS National Championship averaged 19,730,000 households and 30,776,000 viewers, making it the most-viewed BCS National Championship since the 2006 title game, which was also from the Rose Bowl and the last time ABC televised the championship.
ABC posted a 36 percent increase for its bowl coverage over last year.
ESPN's most-viewed bowl season, highlighted by two of the network's three largest bowl game audiences and seven of the network's top 25 all time.
ESPN2's most-viewed and highest-rated bowl season and bowl game telecast.
ABC's three bowl game broadcasts averaged 14,266,000 households; 22,179,000 viewers; and a 12.4 rating, the network's most-viewed season (since at least 1990, when ratings were first tracked). This year saw significant growth of 36 percent (vs. 10,459,000), 40 percent (vs. 15,823,000) and 36 percent (vs. 9.1), respectively, over last year. Details:
ABC's broadcast of the Citi BCS National Championship averaged 19,730,000 households and 30,776,000 viewers, based on a 17.2 rating, ranking it second among most-viewed BCS games, behind only ABC's 2006 telecast of the championship from the Rose Bowl.
ABC's telecast of the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Citi garnered the second largest bowl audience this season -- behind the BCS National Championship with 15,143,000 households; 24,025,000 viewers; and a 13.2 rating.
ESPN averaged 3,110,000 households; 4,311,000 viewers; and a 3.1 rating for 22 bowl games, making it the most-viewed season for bowl coverage. This year saw increases of 7 percent (vs. 2,920,000), 8 percent (vs. 3,989,000) and 3 percent (vs. 3.0), respectively, over last year. Of ESPN's 22 bowl games, two rank among the top three, three were among the top 10 and seven were among the network's top 25 bowl telecasts. Details include:
ESPN's telecast of the Valero Alamo Bowl was the most-viewed bowl game and fifth-highest-rated ever, with 5,554,000 households; 7,829,000 viewers; and a 5.6 rating.
The Emerald Bowl delivered ESPN's third-most-viewed bowl game and 10th-highest-rated ever, averaging 5,289,000 households; 7,563,000 viewers; and a 5.3 rating.
The New Year's Eve telecast of the Chick-fil-A Bowl was ESPN's seventh-most-viewed bowl game ever, with 4,852,000 households and 7,513,000 viewers, based on a 4.9 rating.
ESPN's telecasts of the Meineke Car Care Bowl, Champs Sports Bowl, AutoZone Liberty Bowl and Pacific Life Holiday Bowl were the network's 13th-, 15th-, 21st-, and 23rd-most-viewed bowl games, respectively.
Meineke Car Care Bowl averaged 4,521,000 households; 6,131,000 viewers; and a 4.6 rating;
Champs Sports Bowl averaged 4,488,000 households; 6,217,000 viewers; and a 4.5 rating;
AutoZone Liberty Bowl averaged 4,332,000 households; 6,449,000 viewers; and a 4.4 rating;
Pacific Life Holiday Bowl averaged 4,267,000 households; 6,138,000 viewers; and a 4.3 rating
ESPN2 averaged 1,832,000 households; 2,504,000 viewers; and a 1.9 rating, making it the network's most-viewed and highest-rated bowl season. This year saw increases of 10% (vs. 1,663,000), 16% (vs. 2,164,000) and 12% (vs. 1.7), respectively, over last year. Game highlights include:
ESPN2's telecast of the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl was the network's most-viewed and highest-rated bowl game, averaging 2,334,000 households; 3,276,000 viewers; and a 2.4 rating.
Beginning next season, ESPN will televise all five BCS games including the National Championship Game as the result of an agreement with the BCS. It will include the Fiesta, Orange and Sugar bowls each season and the BCS National Championship Game in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Through a separate agreement, ESPN will also televise the Rose Bowl Game beginning in 2011.