College Football Week 7: ABC’s Saturday Night Football Up an Impressive 57% Year-Over-Year; ABC/ESPN Air Three of the Four Highest-Rated College Football Games on Any Network

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College Football Week 7: ABC’s Saturday Night Football Up an Impressive 57% Year-Over-Year; ABC/ESPN Air Three of the Four Highest-Rated College Football Games on Any Network

  • ABC and ESPN Air Two Highest-Rated College Football Games in Primetime; Sixth Straight Saturday ABC/ESPN Televise the Sport’s Highest-Rated Primetime Game Across All Networks

  • ESPN Grows Ratings in Multiple Key Game Windows

  • Detroit and Columbus Were Highest-Rated Local Markets for Michigan-Wisconsin

ABC’s Saturday Night Football featuring Wisconsin at Michigan (7:30 p.m. ET) delivered a 3.6 overnight rating, leading the way for ABC/ESPN in week 7 and generating a 57% year-over-year rating increase for the sport’s signature franchise. Across all networks, ESPN/ABC combined to air three of the four highest-rated college football games of the week, including the two highest-rated primetime games. Overall, this marks the sixth straight Saturday that the highest-rated primetime game aired on either ESPN/ABC.

Missouri-Alabama Delivers Rating Increase for ESPN, Ties as Network’s Highest-Rated Crimson Tide Game of ‘18
ESPN also delivered significant ratings in primetime as Missouri-Alabama (7 p.m.) delivered a 2.2 overnight, besting the network’s cable competition by 266%. Year-over-year, ESPN grew its own ratings by 5%, as last season, the same game window also featured Alabama, with the Crimson Tide taking on Arkansas. This season, the overnight for the Crimson Tide victory ties as ESPN’s highest-rated Alabama game of the year, equaling the Ole Miss game (Sept. 15) and besting two other games on ESPN/ESPN2 – vs. Arkansas State (Sept. 8) and at Arkansas (Oct. 6).

Detroit Market Leads the Way for ABC’s Saturday Night Football; Columbus was Second Highest Rated
Detroit was the highest-rated local market for ABC’s Saturday Night Football, with an 18.1 rating followed by Columbus (15.9) and Milwaukee (13.7). The complete top 10:

Rank Local Rating Market
1 18.1 Detroit
2 15.9 Columbus
3 13.7 Milwaukee
4 9.0 Dayton
5 7.8 Cleveland
6 6.2 Cincinnati
7 5.6 Minneapolis
  5.6 Portland
9 5.1 Memphis
10 4.6 Oklahoma City

ESPN Grows Ratings in Multiple Game Windows in Week 7; Florida-Vanderbilt Ties as Highest-Rated Noon Game Window
ESPN’s telecast of Florida and Vanderbilt (noon) delivered a 1.8 overnight, with the Gators’ come-from-behind victory generating a 6% ratings increase from last year’s same game window which also featured an SEC East clash (South Carolina at Tennessee). The overnight tied as the highest-rated college football game on any network in that time slot in week 7.

Regional Action in Late Afternoon Propels ABC/ESPN2
Regional action was featured across ABC/ESPN2 in the late afternoon window, with the entire country seeing Washington at Oregon and UCF at Memphis (3:30 p.m.). The game window, across both networks, delivered a 2.4 overnight, the sport’s second best in that timeslot and third highest of the entire week, across all networks and timeslots.

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

Derek Volner

I work in college sports, which includes football and basketball, with an emphasis on Olympic Sports. Additionally, I handle ESPN’s coverage of high school athletics and recruiting.
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