More than 7 Million Viewers for Alabama at Mississippi State, One of ESPN’s Most-Watched Regular Season Games on Record

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More than 7 Million Viewers for Alabama at Mississippi State, One of ESPN’s Most-Watched Regular Season Games on Record

  • Crimson Tide-Bulldogs: Cable’s Most-Watched Regular Season Saturday Game in Over Two Years
  • Week 11: ESPN and ABC Win the Night Among All Networks, Beat Fox in Prime Time by 138% and 132%
  • Week 11: College GameDay Airs its Most-Watched Episode of the Season

ESPN televised one of its most-watched regular season college football games on record and ESPN/ABC dominated the coveted prime time audience across all networks, sports and otherwise, during college football’s week 11.

Alabama at Mississippi State Earns Historical and Season Superlatives
ESPN’s telecast of Alabama at Mississippi State (7:15 p.m.) delivered a Nielsen total live audience of 7,031,000 viewers, peaking at an impressive 11,427,000 viewers (10:15 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.) Historically, the more than 7 million viewers is cable’s most-watched Saturday college football game in over two years and among ESPN’s top 10 most-viewed regular season Saturday games in more than 20 seasons.

For the 2017 season, the Crimson Tide’s last-minute victory is the sixth most-watched game across all networks, broadcast and cable, and second most-watched SEC Conference game across all networks.

For the week, the Crimson Tide-Bulldogs game generated a 199% greater audience on ESPN from last year’s comparable window (LSU at Arkansas) and outdrew Fox in primetime by 138%.

ABC’s Saturday Night Football: Notre Dame at Miami Among Most-Watched Games of Season, Up Year-Over-Year
ABC’s Saturday Night Football featuring Notre Dame at Miami (8 p.m.) delivered a total live audience of 6,879,000 viewers. The SNF audience for the Canes’ dominating win was up 5% year over year from the 2016 week 11 game (Michigan at Iowa) and outdrew Fox’s TV-only audience by 132%.

ABC and ESPN Win The Night Among All Networks; ESPN Scores with Millennials
Buoyed by the game telecasts, ESPN and ABC combined to win the night across all networks, cable and broadcasts, from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. in each of the the key demos with ESPN winning among millennials (M18-34 & P18-34) and ABC winning among households, viewers and key male and adult demos (M18-49, M25-54, P18-49 and P25-54) during that specific time period.

College GameDay Sets a New Season High
College GameDay Built by The Home Depot (ESPN, 9 a.m. – noon) delivered a total live audience of 2,108,000 viewers on Saturday, Nov. 11, the most-watched telecast this season. It was the show’s first ever telecast from the University of Miami.

Season-to-Date: ABC and ESPN Draw the Biggest Audiences
ABC continues to set the pace among all networks, airing the most-watched game of the year and three of the top 5. Combined with ESPN, the two networks have aired 5 of the top 7 and 9 of the top 12 most watched games.

2017 College Football Season: Most-Watched Games

Rank Viewership Game Network
1 12,343,000 Florida State vs. Alabama ABC
2 9,873,000 Penn State at Ohio State FOX
3 8,086,000 Oklahoma at Ohio State ABC
4 7,655,000 Michigan vs. Florida ABC
5 7,407,000 Georgia at Auburn CBS
6 7,031,000 Alabama at Mississippi State ESPN
7 6,960,000 Michigan at Penn State ABC
8 6,736,000 LSU at Alabama CBS
9 6,727,000 Notre Dame at Miami ABC
10 6,512,000 Michigan State at Michigan ABC
11 5,262,000 Penn State at Iowa ABC
12 5,141,000 Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech ESPN

*Nielsen reported numbers as of Nov. 14


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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