College Football: Another Big Ratings Weekend for College Football on ESPN Networks
via press release:
College Football: Another Big Weekend for College Football on ESPN Networks
- ESPN’s Texas A&M-Ole Miss Currently Most-Viewed Game of Week
- ESPN & ABC Televise Five of Top Six Most-Viewed Games Across Networks
- ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 & ESPNU Increases Over 2012
- Millions Go to ESPN Mobile Offerings
- Top 10 Metered Market Ratings for ESPN Night Games
Based on Nielsen ratings finalized to date, ESPN’s Saturday night telecast of Texas A&M defeating Ole Miss 41-38 on October 12 was the most-viewed college football game of the week across all networks. The matchup between SEC West Division rivals averaged 5,114,000 viewers and a 3.2 HH US rating. The final rating for ABC’s noon coverage of Texas defeating Oklahoma – which garnered the highest overnight rating of all games – will be available on Thursday and is expected to take the top spot.
Overall, ESPN, ABC and ESPN2 combined have currently televised five of the top six most-viewed games of the week. ESPN’s coverage of Penn State’s quadruple-overtime victory over Michigan is the network’s second most-viewed game of the week, averaging 4,040,000 viewers and a 2.6 HH US rating. Additional highlights for Saturday:
- ABC’s Saturday 3:30 p.m. split-national telecast – Boston College at Clemson and Northwestern at Wisconsin – averaged 3,460,000 viewers and a 2.4 HH US rating.
- ESPN’s first game of the day – Missouri upsetting Georgia – averaged 3,012,000 viewers and a 2.1 HH US rating.
- ESPN2 also posted a large audience for an SEC night game, averaging 2,560,000 viewers and a 1.5 HH US rating for Alabama’s 48-7 win over Kentucky.
Season Increases for ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU
Through week seven, ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU are posting larger audiences for college football game telecasts over last season at the same point:
- ABC is averaging 4,658,000 viewers and a 2.9 HH US rating for increases of 7 percent (vs. 4,348,000) and 4 percent (vs. 2.8).
- ESPN is averaging 2,941,000 viewers and a 1.9 HH US rating, increases of 12 percent (vs. 2,617,000) and 12 percent (vs. 1.7).
- ESPN2 is averaging 1,222,000 viewers and a 0.8 HH US rating, marking an increase of 1 percent (vs. 1,214,000) and even.
- ESPNU is averaging 477,000 viewers and a 0.3 HH US rating for an increase of 3 percent in viewers (vs. 463,000) and even.
In addition, ABC Saturday Night Football is experiencing significant growth over last season, averaging 6,558,000 viewers and a 3.9 HH US rating, increases of 22 percent (vs. 5,381,000) and 18 percent (vs. 3.3), respectively, over 2012. This Saturday’s matchup will pit No. 5 Florida State at No. 3 Clemson – this season’s first game between top-five ranked teams – at 8 p.m. ET.
Top 10 Metered Markets for ESPN Saturday Games
Detroit, with a 13.9 metered market rating, and Columbus, averaging a 10.3, were the top two markets for ESPN’s Michigan at Penn State telecast. Dayton was third with a 5.9 rating followed by Philadelphia (4.4), Pittsburgh (4.3), Cleveland (4.3), Austin (3.9), Birmingham (3.9), Norfolk (3.7) and Indianapolis (3.7).
Birmingham was the leading market for ESPN’s coverage of Texas A&M at Ole Miss, averaging a 13.9 rating. Memphis was second with a 12.1 rating followed by Austin (12.0), San Antonio (9.2), Houston (7.7), New Orleans (7.7), Dallas-Fort Worth (7.7), Knoxville (7.5), Greenville (7.1) and Columbus (6.9).
ESPN Digital Platforms Continue to Post Growth
ESPN Digital Media’s college football content across all platforms — ESPN.com homepage and college football section, the ESPN Mobile Web college football section, ESPNScoreCenter app’s the lead and college football card, WatchESPN/ESPN3 and the ESPN College Football app — continued significant growth in Week 7, generating an average audience of 268,000 on Saturday, an increase of nine percent over 2012.
On Saturday, nearly 7,000,000 fans accessed the ScoreCenter app with an average minute audience of more than 118,000 (up 10 percent and 80 percent over 2012, respectively). ESPN’s College Football app reached more than 1,200,000 unique visitors with an average minute audience of more than 11,000 (up 31 percent and 20 percent over 2012, respectively).
Also on Saturday, video starts of college football content on ESPN.com totaled 4,400,000, up 11 percent over last year. Thursday through Saturday, WatchESPN and ESPN3 had 44,600,000 live minutes viewed, up 39 percent over 2012.