- Week 10: ESPN Airs Top Two Most-Watched Games on Cable; Audience for Hawkeyes’ Upset Tops FS1’s Airing of Bedlam Game by 65%
- Week 10: ESPN Viewership Up 26% vs. 2016; ABC Up in Majority of Windows
ESPN’s telecast of Ohio State at Iowa (3:30 p.m. ET) was the second most-watched college football game of week 10 across all networks and the fourth most-viewed game on cable this season. The Hawkeyes’ upset notably drew a bigger audience than all other broadcast and cable network games in the competitive late afternoon time slot (3:30 p.m. or 4 p.m. kickoffs). Led by the Buckeyes-Hawkeyes, ESPN aired the top two most-watched games on cable in college football’s week 10.
In addition to beating the competition, ESPN also gained significant audience in the majority of individual game windows in week 10 compared to those same windows on ESPN last season in week 10. Collectively, the network was up 26% in week 10 compared to the same week in 2016.
Buckeyes-Hawkeyes Tops FS1 Head-to-Head; Auburn at Texas A&M is Second Most-Watched Game on Cable this Week
The Hawkeyes-Buckeyes matchup delivered a Nielsen total live audience of 4,112,000, a 77% year-over-year audience increase from the comparable window last season (Maryland at Michigan). In addition to being the most-watched game in that time slot across all cable and broadcast networks, the game beat FS1’s airing of the Bedlam game by 65% head-to-head. Additionally, ESPN’s telecast of Auburn at Texas A&M (noon) was cable’s second most-watched game of the week, delivering a total audience of 2,631,000 viewers. In addition to topping the audience for Bedlam, the viewership for the Tigers victory was up 28% from last year’s comparable window on ESPN (Vanderbilt at Auburn).
Buckeyes-Hawkeyes Deliver New Season High for ESPN; ESPN and ESPN2 Continue to Dominate the Cable Landscape
In addition to being the fourth most-viewed game on cable, the audience of more than four million is ESPN’s best for a 3:30 p.m. ET game this season. This season, ESPN/ESPN2 has aired the top 18 most-viewed games on cable and 47 of the top 50.
Hurricanes Win on Saturday Night Football, Sets Up College Football Playoff Impact Game vs. Notre Dame This Week
ABC’s Saturday Night Football featuring Virginia Tech at Miami (8 p.m., ABC) delivered a total live audience of 3,077,000, which beat Fox’s TV only prime time audience by 8%. This week, the Hurricanes will once again be on SNF, as they host Notre Dame in a matchup with major College Football Playoff implications.
ESPN’s Networks Additional Week 10 Highlights:
- Clemson at NC State (3:30 p.m., ABC): Total live audience of 2,910,000 viewers, up 11% from comparable window(regional action: Syracuse at Clemson or Oklahoma State at Kansas State)
- Wisconsin at Indiana (noon, ABC): Total live audience of 2,877,000 viewers, up 19% from comparable window (Wisconsin at Northwestern)
- Texas at TCU (7 p.m., ESPN): Nielsen total live audience of 1,897,000 viewers, up 28% from comparable window (Oregon at USC)
- Arizona at USC (10:45 p.m., ESPN): Nielsen total live audience of 1,939,000 viewers, the most-watched late night window of the week across all networks, topping FS1 by 97%
- Iowa State at West Virginia (3:30 p.m., ESPN2): Saw an 94% increase year over year from the network’s comparable window last season, as it delivered a total live audience of 876,000 viewers (Syracuse vs. Clemson or Oklahoma St vs. Kansas St)