First ESPN CFB150 Showcase Game: Miami vs. Florida is Network’s Highest Rated College Football Game in Nearly Three Years

College Football

First ESPN CFB150 Showcase Game: Miami vs. Florida is Network’s Highest Rated College Football Game in Nearly Three Years

  • Hurricanes-Gators Deliver 4.1 Overnight; Sets New Opening Weekend Records for ESPN
  • Full Day of Programming Ramping Up ESPN CFB150 Initiative Delivers Significant Results

ESPN began college football’s 150th anniversary season by airing the network’s highest-rated college football game in nearly three years, while simultaneously raising the bar against which all future opening games will now compare.

Miami-Florida, the network’s first ESPN CFB150 Showcase Game of the season and this season’s Camping World Kickoff, delivered a 4.1 overnight, the best college football game on ESPN since November of 2016*. The overnight for the Gators’ victory is also ESPN’s best on record for any Saturday game in August as well as Labor Day Weekend, traditionally the first Saturday of college football.

Serving Football Fans: College GameDay up 60%, FCS Kickoff up 50% and CFB150 Opening Documentary Concludes Day with Strong Rating
The renewal of the in-state rivalry was the highpoint in a signature day of ESPN CFB150 programming, as the network ramped up its multifaceted storytelling experience. Bookending the day, the documentary Football is US: The College Game, the first in-depth original content programming for ESPN College Football 150, delivered a strong 1.5 overnight rating, while College GameDay Built by the Home Depot (9 a.m.- noon) increased its overnight by 60% over last season’s  one-hour week 0 preview show. The Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff between Samford and Youngstown State (3 p.m.) also saw a strong overnight increase, up 50% from last season.

“Saturday was an ideal way to begin the in-season CFB150 celebration,” said Nick Dawson, ESPN Vice President of Programming and Acquisitions. “This signature day was the result of a shared vision amongst many, including Florida, Miami, Youngstown State, and Samford. We now look forward to our five-day Kickoff Week slate and the entire CFB150 season.”

Additional Hurricane-Gator Highlights:

  • Final Drive Delivers Highest Overnight: The in-state rivalry game peaked with a 4.9 overnight during the Hurricanes’ final drive (10:30-10:45 p.m.)
  • A Sunshine State Affair: Florida markets accounted for six of the eight top markets; however, Birmingham was No. 1 market.
Rank Market Rating
1 Birmingham 18.7
2 Jacksonville 17.0
3 West Palm Beach 11.7
4 Tampa-St. Pete 11.6
5 Ft. Myers 11.2
6 Greenville 10.1
7 Miami 10.0
8 Orlando 9.4
9 Atlanta 8.9
10 Knoxville 8.8

*Ohio State vs. Michigan State on November 19, 2016
Superlatives in release are for regular season only; Overnight records date back to 2001


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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