ESPN’s opening week of college football coverage delivered significant audience increases over last year’s season debut telecasts across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and College GameDay Built by The Home Depot, highlighted by ESPN’s second-most-viewed college football game – regular-season and bowl games – and ABC winning the night among all networks for its Saturday Night Football broadcast. Details:
Miami at Florida State: ESPN’s Second-Most-Viewed College Football Game
ESPN’s prime-time telecast of Miami’s 38-34 victory over then-No. 18 Florida State on Monday, Sept. 7, averaged 5,820,000 households, 8,406,000 total viewers and a 5.9 rating, making it the network’s second-most-viewed college football game – regular-season and bowl games.
The network’s most-viewed college football game was also a Labor Day showdown between Miami and Florida State, on Sept. 4, 2006. That telecast averaged 6,330,000 households, 9,120,000 total viewers and a 6.9 rating.
Season Debut of Saturday Night Football Wins the Night for ABC
The Sept. 5 debut of Saturday Night Football Presented by Southwest Airlines on ABC averaged 4,832,000 households, 7,081,000 viewers and a 4.2 rating, making ABC the top network for the night in households, viewers and across every key male and people demographic. The broadcast posted increases of 20% (vs. 4,030,000), 26% (vs. 5,601,000) and 17% (vs. 3.6), respectively, over last year’s opening telecast.
Opening Week Audience Growth for ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 Game Telecasts and College GameDay
Overall college football coverage across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and College GameDay through the first week posted audience increases over last year’s opening telecasts.
- ABC averaged 4,465,000 households, 6,371,000 viewers and a 3.9 rating for increases of 23% (vs. 3,621,000), 31% (vs. 4,866,000) and 22% (vs. 3.2), respectively.
- ESPN averaged 2,640,000 households, 3,616,000 viewers and a 2.7 rating, marking increases of 30% (vs. 2,028,000), 34% (vs. 2,693,000) and 29% (vs. 2.1).
- ESPN2 averaged 889,000 households and 1,141,000 viewers for its coverage for increases of 7% (vs. 830,000), 8% (vs. 1,054,000). The rating is even at a 0.9 average.
- ESPN’s College GameDay averaged 1,687,000 households, 2,061,000 viewers and a 1.7 rating for its season-opening telecast from Atlanta for increases of 20% (vs. 1,401,000), 25% (vs. 1,654,000) and 13% (vs. 1.5) over last year’s first show, also from Atlanta.
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