via press release:
ESPN’s Rose Bowl Game: Cable’s Third-Biggest Audience
Highest Rating Ever on ESPN outside NFL Games
ESPN’s first year of televising the entire BCS began with The Rose Bowl Game Presented by VIZIO garnering third biggest audience in the history of cable television. TCU’s 21-19 victory over Wisconsin earned a 13.1 rating in ESPN’s coverage area (11.3 US rating), according to Fast National ratings from Nielsen, representing an average of 13,054,000 households (20,558,000 viewers, P2+). Only two ESPN Monday Night Football games top those household and audience numbers ever on cable television.
On ESPN3.com, the game averaged 71,436 viewers on ESPN3.com, and reached 214,000 unique viewers and a college football live game season-high 13.9 million total minutes of viewing.
The Rose Bowl Game was seen on ESPN by virtually the same number of people as in 2009 and slightly more than 2008. Two years ago, the game received an 11.7 rating on ABC (Penn State-USC); in 2008 it earned an 11.1 (Illinois-USC).
Overnight ratings from the metered markets show extremely strong local results: Milwaukee (30.0), Birmingham (28.8), Columbus (26.3) and Dallas (20.1).
In addition, that night’s Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on ESPN, Oklahoma’s 48-20 victory over Connecticut which won the night as the most –watched of all programs (broadcast or cable), earned a 7.1 rating (6.2 US rating). The audience of 7,129,000 homes and 10,819,000 viewers, ranks fourth and second, respectively, in ESPN history (excluding NFL games). Two markets in Oklahoma, Oklahoma City (35.1) and Tulsa (30.7), led the metered markets, followed by Hartford/New Haven (18.4).
ESPN & the BCS
ESPN’s first year of exclusive coverage of the five BCS matchups will continue tonight with the Discover Orange Bowl (Monday, Jan. 3), Allstate Sugar Bowl (Tuesday, Jan. 4) and Tostitos BCS National Championship Game (Monday, Jan. 10). Overall, ESPN, ESPN Radio and ESPN3.com will present all five BCS Bowl games and ESPN 3D is providing exclusive 3D coverage of two BCS contests (Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and Tostitos BCS National Championship Game).
In addition, ESPN is providing extensive on-site studio programming and reports across multiple shows and platforms, dedicated web pages for each bowl, re-airs of classic BCS games, international telecasts of all five games, encore presentations of the National Championship and more.
ESPN’s year-round commitment to college football includes more than 400 games, culminating with 33 bowls, and approximately 200 million people tuned in to college football 2010 regular-season coverage on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC.