ABC’s Saturday Night Football Clemson-Louisville: Most-Watched Prime-Time Game of Week 3 across All Networks

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ABC’s Saturday Night Football Clemson-Louisville: Most-Watched Prime-Time Game of Week 3 across All Networks

  • ABC Outdraws Double Overtime Thriller on Fox
  • ESPN/ESPN2 Airs Top Eight Games on Cable, Growth in Key Windows
  • Season-to-Date: SNF Most-Watched College Football Franchise, Up 51% from Last Season

ABC’s Saturday Night Football televised college football’s most-watched prime-time game in week 3 as Clemson’s 47-21 victory over Louisville (8 p.m.) delivered a total live audience of 5,206,000 viewers, outpacing the TV audience for Fox’ thrilling, double-OT game (4,912,000 viewers). SNF also grew its own audience from 2016, as the Louisville-Clemson audience was up 79% from last season’s week 3 SNF game (USC vs. Stanford).

Season-to-Date: Saturday Night Football Continues to Deliver, Helps ABC Win the Night for Third Consecutive Week
ABC’s Saturday Night Football is averaging a total live audience of 8,630,000 viewers through the first three weeks of the season, the most-watched college football franchise on TV and up 51% from franchise’s first three games last season.  Each week of the season, the college football franchise has helped ABC win the night among households, viewers and all key male and adult demos (M18-34, M18-49, M25-54, P18-34, P18-49 and P25-54).

Week 3: ESPN/ESPN2 Televises Most-Watched Games on Cable
While televising the top eight most-watched games on cable in week 3, ESPN/ESPN2 also experienced significant total live audience increases in key windows:

  • LSU at Mississippi State (7 p.m. on ESPN): 2,581,000 viewers, up 20% from Texas A&M at Auburn’s 2016 matchup.
  • Notre Dame at Boston College (3:30 p.m. on ESPN): 1,845,000 viewers, up 75% from last year’s Pittsburgh-Oklahoma State game
  • Oklahoma State at Pittsburgh (noon on ESPN): 1,621,000 viewers, up 62% from Miami at Appalachian State in 2016
  • Colorado State at Alabama (7 p.m. on ESPN2): 1,653,000 viewers, up 35% from Mississippi State-LSU last year.

Season-to-Date: ESPN’s Viewership Outpaces FS1/Fox
In the season’s first three weeks, ESPN alone is averaging 2,157,000 television viewers a game (17 games), 21% higher than the average audience on FS1 and Fox combined (14 games) and 160% higher than the average viewership on FS1 (seven games).

ABC’s TV-only audience for Clemson-Louisville was 5,064,000 viewers


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

Derek Volner

I currently lead ESPN’s NFL Communications, including Monday Night Football, NFL Draft and studio programming. Previously, I did the same for ESPN’s vast college football portfolio. I have been with ESPN since 2013.
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