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ESPN’s Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 6) prime-time telecast of Boise State defeating Virginia Tech 33-30 averaged 7,252,000 households, making it the network’s most-viewed college football game – covering regular-season and bowl games – in households. With 9,888,000 viewers (people 2+), the telecast ranks as the second most-viewed college football game among total viewers (trailing only ESPN’s coverage of USC at Ohio State in 2009 which averaged 10,586,000 viewers). The Labor Day matchup averaged a 7.3 rating (equaling the average for USC at Ohio State) and stands as the highest rating for a college football game in 16 years (Florida State at Miami averaged a 7.7 on October 8, 1994). Additional highlights include:
- The telecast was the most-viewed program of the day across all networks — cable and broadcast — among households, total viewers, and all key male and people demographics. In addition, ESPN was the No. 1 network of the night among households, total viewers, and all key male and people demographics.
- The matchup is the third most-viewed ad-supported cable telecast across all networks in 2010 among households behind ESPN’s Monday Night Football (Minnesota at Chicago) and the NFL Pro Bowl coverage. It is also the fifth most-viewed ad-supported cable telecast in 2010 among total viewers.
- The game stands as ESPN’s most-viewed and highest-rated non-Saturday college football telecast since at least 1990 (when ESPN began tracking audiences).
- The telecast was the most-viewed and highest-rated college football game of the five-day opening weekend schedule across all networks (cable or broadcast).
With more than 230,000 unique viewers, the game was also the most-watched college football game ever on ESPN3.com, ESPN’s 24/7 broadband network. Through the opening weekend from Thursday through Monday, college football games on ESPN3.com reached more than 1 million unique viewers, equaling nearly 69 million total minutes.
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