College Football Week 4: Stanford-Oregon is Most-Watched ESPN/ABC Pac-12 Conference Game in Nearly Four Years; Georgia-Missouri is Cable’s Most-Watched Afternoon Game This Season

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College Football Week 4: Stanford-Oregon is Most-Watched ESPN/ABC Pac-12 Conference Game in Nearly Four Years; Georgia-Missouri is Cable’s Most-Watched Afternoon Game This Season

  • ABC and ESPN Air Two of Three Most-Watched Games; ABC or ESPN “Wins the Night” For Third Consecutive Week, Beating All Sports and Non-Sports Broadcast and Cable Competition
  • Saturday’s Finale Window Featuring Pac-12 Up Again Year-Over-Year; Up 22% for the Season
  • ESPN Beats Cable Competition in Every Game Window

College football’s week four resulted in ABC/ESPN setting the pace in prime-time for the third consecutive week, while throughout the entire day, the two networks combined to air two of the top three games of the week. This week also continued multiple ESPN trends including growing its audience in its final game window and airing cable’s most-watched games.

ABC’s Saturday Night Football Peaks at Nearly Six Million Viewers
ABC’s Saturday Night Football featuring Stanford at Oregon (8 p.m. ET) delivered a total live audience of 4,259,000 viewers, ESPN/ABC most-watched Pac-12 Conference game in nearly four years (Nov. 22, 2014). The Cardinal’s come-from-behind, overtime victory was the most-viewed game in primetime this week, outpacing the broadcast competition by 29%.  Now, season-to-date, ESPN or ABC telecast the most-watched primetime game in three of the four weeks.

The network’s audience peaked at 5.9 million viewers as the Cardinal converted a game tying field goal and then both teams played a single overtime period (11:15 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.)

ABC ‘Wins the Night’ for Third Time This Season; Beats Sport and Non-Sport Competition
For the third time this season and the second consecutive Saturday night, ABC ‘won the night’ among all broadcast and cable networks including networks not airing sporting events. As part of the achievement, ABC rated the highest, and earned the most overall viewers, from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., while also delivering the highest ratings among all key male and female adult demos.

Georgia at Missouri is Cable’s Most-Watched Noon Kickoff Since 2016
ESPN’s telecast of Georgia at Missouri (noon) averaged a Nielsen total live audience of 3,328,000 viewers, the most-viewed cable game of the week across all networks, cable’s most-watched afternoon game of the season, and cable’s most-watched noon time kickoff since the 2016 season. The viewership was up 27% from last year’s same game window on ESPN and beat its cable competition this week by 129%. Season to date, ESPN/ESPN2 has aired cable’s 15 most-watched games

Arizona State at Washington Delivers Double Digit Audience Growth
Arizona State at Washington (10:30 p.m.) delivered an audience of 1,834,000, up 10% from the same window last year. It is the third consecutive week the finale game window on Saturday has increased, resulting in ESPN’s audience being up 22% in that window on the season.

Additional Week 4 Highlights:

  • Big Blue Nation Turns to ESPN2: Mississippi State at Kentucky (7 p.m.) is the Wildcats most-watched ESPN2 telecast since 2013, earning a Nielsen total live audience of 1,219,000 viewers.
  • Viewers Flock to ESPN on Friday: ESPN’s aired the two most-watched games of Friday night as Washington State at USC (10:30 p.m.) had a Nielsen total live audience 1,644,000 viewers and Florida Atlantic at UCF earned an average of 1,295,000 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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