CFP National Championship – Alabama vs. Clemson: 25.3 Million Fans Watched, Up from the Same Matchup Two Seasons Ago

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CFP National Championship – Alabama vs. Clemson: 25.3 Million Fans Watched, Up from the Same Matchup Two Seasons Ago

  • MegaCast Presentation Earns Top 10 Cable Audience Ever Despite Most-Lopsided National Championship Game in CFP History
  • Viewership Peaked at Nearly 28 Million Viewers in First Half
  • New Year’s Six + CFP National Championship Up 12% from Era’s Second Year

More fans tuned into last night’s Alabama-Clemson College Football Playoff National Championship than the same matchup in the 2017 CFP National Championship — despite Clemson’s 28-point lopsided victory this season compared to their game-winning touchdown in the final seconds two years ago — Nielsen reported numbers show.

Alabama-Clemson on January 7, 2019 (8 p.m. ET) has generated a Nielsen reported audience of 25,280,000 viewers to date as part of ESPN’s MegaCast presentation*, up from the 25,266,000 viewers for the aforementioned 2017 CFP National Championship game. The reported audience number at this time doesn’t include a large percentage of the streaming audience (approx. 30-40%) The full streaming information will be reported the week of January 14. Additionally, out-of-home viewing will also be released by Nielsen in the coming weeks, further adding to the reported audience number. More on Nielsen reporting structure is accessible here.

Among Cable’s Most-Watched Television Programs Ever
The 2019 CFP National Championship audience is among cable’s 10 highest ever.

Audience Peaks at Nearly 28 Million in the First Half
The viewership peaked at 27,839,000 million viewers in the first half as the Tigers extended their lead to 15 points.

New Year’s Six + CFP National Championship Audience up 12% from Year Two
The audience for the New Year’s Six + CFP National Championship has generated a Nielsen reported average of 15,427,000 which is already 12% better than the same set of games in the CFP’s second year despite not having the full Nielsen reported number. In both instances, the New Year’s Six and CFP National Championship followed a similar format, with the CFP Semifinals at the Orange Bowl and Cotton Bowl Classic on a non-New Year’s Day date.  This year, the viewership number includes new Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl CFP non-Semifinal audience highs, which occurred on New Year’s Day.

ESPN Digital Platforms Up 10% Year-Over-Year on Championship Monday
On Championship Monday, 941 million minutes were consumed across ESPN Digital platforms (game and non-game), up 10% from last season’s Championship Monday.

Editor’s Note: This press release was updated on Thursday, Jan. 10, to reflect the addition of the ESPNEWS number.

*ESPN’s MegaCast Presentation offered multiple productions for the game; however, only ESPN, ESPN2,ESPNU, and ESPNEWS are represented above. ESPN Classic, and SEC Network are not rated and thus not accounted for in this release. Additionally, ESPN3 streaming numbers are also not accounted for here.



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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