Most-Viewed Sugar Bowl Since 2004 Averages 16,339,000 Viewers; Three-Game BCS Average Up 23 Percent Over 2013

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

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January 3rd, 2014


via press release:

Most-Viewed Sugar Bowl Since 2004 Averages 16,339,000 Viewers; Three-Game BCS Average Up 23 Percent Over 2013


Based on Nielsen’s Fast National ratings, ESPN’s coverage of the Allstate Sugar Bowl on January 2 averaged 16,339,000 viewers and a 9.3 US HH rating. The game – No. 11 Oklahoma over No. 3 Alabama 45-31 – is the most-viewed Allstate Sugar Bowl since the 2004 matchup that crowned the 2003 BCS National Champion and most-viewed that was not a championship game since 2001.


The 2014 telecast posted increases of 61 percent (vs. 10,125,000 viewers) and 50 percent (6.2 US HH rating) over ESPN’s 2013 January 2 BCS matchup, which was also the Allstate Sugar Bowl (No. 21 Louisville beating No. 3 Florida 33-23).


ESPN’s first three Bowl Championship Series telecasts of 2014 – the Rose Bowl Game Presented by VIZIO, Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and Allstate Sugar Bowl – combined is averaging 15,372,000 viewers and an 8.7 US HH rating. The three-game average marks an increase of 23 percent (vs. 12,534,000) and 21 percent (vs. 7.2) for the first three BCS bowls in 2013 (Rose Bowl Game Presented by VIZIO, Discover Orange Bowl and Allstate Sugar Bowl).


Fans also turned to WatchESPN to follow the matchup, spending 21.5 million minutes on the game (up 269 percent), the highest amount for a college football game on the platform this season. The bowl also garnered an average minute audience of 91,000, a 211 percent increase over last season. Combined, the three games averaged 17.0 million live minutes viewed (up 86 percent) and an average minute audience of 76,000 (up 65 percent).


Birmingham led all markets for the telecast with a 50.1 rating, marking the fourth highest overnight for a bowl game on ESPN in the market (the other three were BCS Championship matchups). Oklahoma City was the second highest rated market with a 34.7 followed by Tulsa (33.5 rating – which is the highest rating for a bowl on ESPN in the market), New Orleans (23.9), Nashville (18.7), Austin (17.8), Knoxville (17.6), Memphis (17.4), Atlanta (16.6) and Jacksonville (16.2).


ESPN & the BCS

ESPN's fourth year of exclusive coverage of the five BCS matchups will continue tonight with the Discover Orange Bowl (No. 12 Clemson vs. No. 7 Ohio State, Friday, Jan. 3) and VIZIO BCS National Championship (No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 2 Auburn, Monday, Jan. 6), both at 8:30 p.m.


  • kb

    This should shut the SEC up a little. They’re not as mighty as the media makes them out to be.

  • jp

    the big winner in college football. the SEC chants was silent. Bodes well for the Championship game Monday night.

  • Jagger Dagger

    @kb & @jp:

  • Joe Smith

    it won’t shut the sec up and they are as mighty as the media makes them out to be. the sec is 7-2 so far in bowl games.

    even if auburn loses they will still have the most wins and better record than any other conference playing more than one bowl.

    so you see, it’s impossible for the sec to not end up as the best conference this season. i know folks like to take a bama loss as meaning the entire sec is somehow bad all of a sudden, but it’s just not reality.

  • kb

    Nobody said it was bad. It’s definitely not mighty though. If Auburn loses the title game then yes it is a knock on the SEC because they would have lost the 2 most important games. A lot of the other bowls were bad matchups. The Pac 12 is 6-3 so they’re right there with the SEC. Just saying it’s not an overwhelming conference. Big 12 schools Mizzouri and Texas A&M are doing better in the SEC than they did in the Big 12.

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