Ohio State at Wisconsin: More than Nine Million Viewers for ABC’s Saturday Night Football

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Ohio State at Wisconsin: More than Nine Million Viewers for ABC’s Saturday Night Football

  • Most-Watched Sporting Event across All Networks on Saturday, Oct. 15
  • ABC is Most-Watched Prime-Time Network for Third Consecutive College Football Saturday
  • ABC up Year-over-Year in All Three Week 7 Windows

Ohio State at Wisconsin’s overtime thriller (8 p.m. on ABC)  grabbed the attention of sports fans as the Big Ten game generated a total live audience (TV+ streaming) of 9,123,000 viewers, the most-watched sporting event across all networks on Saturday, October 15. The Buckeyes’ 30-23 victory is the third most-watched college football game of the season across all networks and is a top five most-streamed regular season college football game ever for ESPN with 38,695,000 million minutes watched.

Additional Buckeyes-Badgers Highlights:

  • Big Audience Increase: The total live audience was up 54% from last season’s week 7 Saturday Night Football game (Penn State at Ohio State).
  • Peaking in Overtime: The TV audience (8,694,000 viewers) peaked at 10,938,000 viewers when the game was in overtime (11:30 p.m. – midnight).
  • Local Markets: Columbus was the No. 1 market (38.2 rating), followed by Dayton (25.8) and Milwaukee (23.7). The rating in Milwaukee was the second-highest ever for a regular season college football game on an ESPN network. The complete top 10 markets:
Rank Market Rating
1 Columbus 38.2
2 Dayton 25.8
3 Milwaukee 23.7
4 Cleveland 22.7
5 Cincinnati 12.7
6 Detroit 10.0
7 Birmingham 9.8
8 Ft. Myers 8.2
9 Knoxville 8.2
10 Atlanta 7.9


ABC Wins the Night For Third Consecutive College Football Saturday
The ABC’s Saturday Night Football TV audience for the Buckeyes-Badgers game led to ABC being the most-watched prime time network across households, viewers and all key demos: men 18-34, men 18-49, men 25-54 and persons 18-34, persons 18-49 and persons 25-54. This is the third consecutive week that ABC’s Saturday Night Football resulted in ABC being the most-watched network in prime time on a college football Saturday.

Overall on Saturday, Oct. 15, ABC televised three of the four most-watched college football games across all networks.

ABC and ESPN Deliver Most-Watched Games of the Season Across All Networks
ABC and ESPN have combined to televise the four most watched games of the season across all networks and seven of the top eight.

Most-Watched Game of 2016 Season – Across All Networks

Rank TV Viewership Game Date Network
1 10,945,000 Notre Dame at Texas Sept. 4, 2016 ABC
2 9,286,000 Louisville at Clemson Oct. 1, 2016 ABC
3 8,964,000 Ohio State at Wisconsin Oct. 15, 2016 ABC
4 8,354,000 Ole Miss vs. Florida State Sept. 5, 2016 ESPN
5 8,169,000 Alabama at Ole Miss Sept. 17, 2016 CBS
6 7,944,000 USC vs. Alabama Sept. 3, 2016 ABC
7 7,832,000 LSU vs. Wisconsin Sept. 3, 2016 ABC
8 6,851,000 Wisconsin at Michigan Oct. 1, 2016 ABC

 

Streaming Minutes Continue to Increase
Four of the five most-streamed regular season college football games have occurred this season:

Rank Minutes Streamed Game Date
1 59,703,000 Ole Miss vs. Florida State September 5, 2016
2 51,107,000 Louisville at Clemson October 1, 2016
3 49,920,000 Notre Dame at Texas September 4, 2016
4 39,424,000 Michigan State at Michigan October 17, 2015
5 38,695,000 Ohio State at Wisconsin October 15, 2016

Based on minutes watched

Additional ESPN/ABC Week 7 Highlights:

  • NC State at Clemson (Noon on ABC): A total live audience of 4,598,000 viewers, up 37% from last season’s comparable window (regional action: Ole Miss at Memphis and Iowa at Northwestern). Television audience (4,506,000 viewers) peaked at 6,621,000 viewers when two teams were in overtime (3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.)
  • Nebraska at Indiana and North Carolina at Miami (3:30 p.m. on ABC): A total live audience of 3,768,000, up 139% from last season’s comparable window (Oklahoma at Kansas State).
  • Duke at Louisville (7 p.m. on ESPN on Friday, Oct. 14): A total live audience of 1,928,000 viewers, up 29% from last year’s comparable window (Cincinnati at BYU).

All games were Saturday, Oct. 15 unless noted

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Media contact: Derek Volner at 860-384-9986; [email protected] and @DerekVolner

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Derek Volner

I work in college sports, which includes football and basketball, with an emphasis on Olympic Sports. Additionally, I handle ESPN’s coverage of high school athletics and recruiting.
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