Record Numbers for ESPN’s MegaCast Presentation of Ohio State at Indiana

College FootballFootball

Record Numbers for ESPN’s MegaCast Presentation of Ohio State at Indiana

  • ESPN’s Highest Overnight for a Week 1 Thursday Game on Record; Top 3 Regular Season Streaming Audience Ever for ESPN
  • ESPN Owns the First Thursday of the Season; Industry-Leading Schedule of 65 Games Continues Throughout Labor Day Weekend

The first night of ESPN’s industry-leading, five-day college football kickoff (Aug. 31 – Sept. 4), that showcases  65 games across ESPN’s networks delivered a record-setting overnight rating and streaming audience as ESPN’s MegaCast presentation of Ohio State at Indiana earned a 3.6 overnight and a streaming audience of 201,000 viewers in the average minute.

The impressive overnight and streaming audience for the Buckeyes 49-21 victory easily becomes ESPN’s best for a kickoff weekend Thursday game on record, shattering the previous overnight record by 44% and streaming record by 109%.  The streaming audience also becomes a top three regular season-audience ever for ESPN.

Additionally, more than 1,399,000 streamed a portion of the game, watching a total of 47,097,000 minutes.

Head to Head: ESPN Easily Beats the Competition
ESPN owned the night among college football fans, as its overnight rating was 12 times greater than FS1’s game.  ESPN’s 65 total games for week 1 of college football season is significantly more than any other network in the industry.

Additional Highlights:

  • Significant Year-Over-Year Growth: ESPN’s MegaCast presentation was up 200% and 280% in overnight rating and streaming, respectively, from last year’s opening Thursday night game.
  • Columbus No. 1 Market, New Record for Indianapolis: Columbus earned a local market rating of 38.3 on just ESPN, the market’s second best rating ever for a regular season game on the network. Indianapolis earned an 11.6 rating, the market’s highest ever rating for an Indiana football game on ESPN. The top 10 markets:


Rank Local Rating Market
1 38.3 Columbus, OH
2 23.8 Dayton
3 16.3 Cleveland-Akron
4 11.6 Indianapolis
5 10.5 Cincinnati
6 9.0 Birmingham
7 8.5 Louisville
8 6.3 Detroit
9 5.9 Greenville
10 5.8 Knoxville


All local numbers are ESPN only

No. 3 Florida State vs. No. 1 Alabama Highlights ESPN’s Unprecedented, Industry-Leading Kickoff Weekend Schedule
ESPN’s industry-leading college football kickoff weekend schedule, which continues through Monday, Sept. 4, will be unprecedented as, for the first time in the sport’s storied history, the preseason’s top team opens the season vs. an opponent ranked in the top 3 when Florida State and Alabama meet on ABC’s Saturday Night Football. In addition to the Seminoles-Crimson Tide, ESPN’s entire five-day week 1 schedule is peppered with top teams:  No. 5 Clemson, No. 6 Penn State, No. 9 Wisconsin and, overall, 17 Top 25 teams will play across ESPN’s networks the sport’s first full week.

*ESPN MegaCast Presentation was across ESPN, ESPNU, ESPNEWS and multiple ESPN3 feeds. For overnights, only ESPN and ESPNU are rated networks. The streaming average minute audience factors in all streams



Media Contact: Derek Volner at [email protected]  or 860-766-8019 (@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.
Back to top button