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via press release:

ESPN Rings in 2015 with its Most-Viewed Week Ever

·         Three of Top Eight Most-Watched Cable Programs of All-Time Last Week 

·         January 1, 2015  is Most-Viewed Day in Network History

·         2014’s Most-Watched Cable Network in Primetime

·         Outback Bowl Delivers Highest Audience in ESPN2’s History

·         ESPN Claims Top 19 Programs in Cable History

Buoyed by the inaugural College Football Playoff Semifinals and its first ever NFL Playoff telecast – three of the top eight most-viewed programs in cable television history, ESPN earned the most-viewed week in its 35-year history, averaging 4,119,000 viewers from Monday, Dec. 29, 2014 – Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015, according to Nielsen. 

 

The Allstate Sugar Bowl featuring No. 4 Ohio State’s victory over No. 1 Alabama (Thursday, Jan. 1 at 9 p.m. ET) became the most-viewed program in cable television history, garnering 28,271,000 viewers.  The Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual, which saw No. 2 Oregon defeat No. 3 Florida State (January 1 at 5 p.m.), produced the second most-watched program in cable history with 28,164,000 viewers. ESPN’s unprecedented stretch concluded with the NFL Wild Card game which resulted in the Carolina Panthers defeating the Arizona Cardinals (Saturday, Jan. 3, at 4:20 p.m.), earning 21,678,000 viewers, the eighth most-viewed program in cable history and ESPN’s second most-watched NFL telecast.

 

Other notable milestones…

 

Most-Viewed Day Ever
ESPN celebrated the New Year in historic fashion on Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015.  Starting with SportsCenter and continuing with College GameDay, The 2015 Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, The Rose Bowl Presented by Northwestern Mutual, and concluding with the Allstate Sugar Bowl, ESPN averaged 11,680,000 million viewers, making it the most-viewed day ever in the network’s 35-year history.

 

No. 1 Primetime Cable Network in 2014
ESPN was the most-watched cable network in primetime in 2014, averaging 2,300,000 viewers. Additionally, ESPN’s 2014 primetime audience saw an increase of +5% in viewership when compared to 2013 (2,194,000 viewers). This marks the first time ESPN has finished No. 1 in primetime within a calendar year.

 

Outback Bowl Delivers Record Audience for ESPN2
The Outback Bowl, featuring No. 18 Wisconsin defeating No. 19 Auburn in overtime, on January 1, 2015 at noon, averaged 6,400,000 viewers, the most-ever for a telecast on ESPN2. The back-and-forth game also generated a 3.8 rating, a new high for the network as well. Additionally, the New Year’s Day bowl is currently the seventh most-viewed bowl game of 2014-15 season.

 

Cable Television Records
ESPN now claims the top 19 most-viewed programs in cable history with the inaugural College Football National Championship Presented by AT&T to be played Monday, Jan. 12, at 8:30 p.m. (No. 2 Oregon vs. No. 4 Ohio State).

 

Top 20 Most-Viewed Programs in Cable Television History (Viewers)

Rank

Date

Program

Network

Viewers (000s)

1.

01/01/2015

CFB/Sugar Bowl: Alabama-Ohio St. ^

ESPN

28,271

2.

01/01/2015

CFB/Rose Bowl: Oregon-Florida St. ^

ESPN

28,164

3.

01/10/2011

CFB/BCS Champ: Oregon-Auburn

ESPN

27,316

4.

01/07/2013

CFB/BCS Champ: Alabama-Notre Dame

ESPN

26,380

5.

01/06/2014

CFB/BCS Champ: Florida St.-Auburn

ESPN

25,572

6.

01/09/2012

CFB/BCS Champ: Alabama-LSU

ESPN

24,214

7.

10/05/2009

NFL MNF: Green Bay-Minnesota

ESPN

21,839

8.

01/03/2015

NFL Wild Card: Arizona-Carolina

ESPN

21,678

9.

11/30/2009

NFL MNF: New England-New Orleans

ESPN

21,402

10.

01/01/2011

CFB/Rose Bowl: TCU-Wisconsin

ESPN

20,558

11.

12/27/2010

NFL MNF: New Orleans-Atlanta

ESPN

19,137

12.

10/27/2014

NFL MNF: Washington-Dallas

ESPN

18,809

13.

01/01/2014

CFB/Rose Bowl: Stanford-Michigan State

ESPN

18,636

14.

09/15/2008

NFL MNF: Philadelphia-Dallas

ESPN

18,608

15.

10/25/2010

NFL MNF: NY Giants-Dallas

ESPN

17,953

16.

01/02/2012

CFB/Rose Bowl: Wisconsin-Oregon

ESPN

17,558

17.

12/03/2007

NFL MNF: New England-Baltimore

ESPN

17,522

18.

09/27/2010

NFL MNF: Green Bay-Chicago

ESPN

17,454

19.

10/11/2010

NFL MNF: Minnesota-NY Jets

ESPN

17,313

20.

10/12/2014

Season Premier: Walking Dead

AMC

17,286

^ = College Football Playoff Semifinal

 

2014-15 Bowl Season

 

Overall, ESPN’s 33 bowl telecasts this season have averaged 5,423,000 viewers, up 4% (5,229,000 viewers) from the 2013-2014 bowl telecasts (minus the BCS Championship game).  

Posted by:Steve Baron

VP/Digital for TV station ownership group; Dad to young twins, runner, skier & spend a lot of times in airplanes.

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