- ABC’s Saturday Night Football Sets the Pace among all Networks
- ESPN Airs Top 10 Highest-Rated Games on Cable this Season
ESPN and ABC aired the four highest-rated games during college football’s Kickoff Weekend across all networks and, combined with ESPNEWS and ESPNU, delivered a 31% ratings increase over last season’s similar Kickoff Weekend. The five-day slate’s success was evident among many individual game windows, including the season premiere of ABC’s Saturday Night Football featuring Oregon-Auburn, which delivered the sport’s highest rating of the weekend and was up 63% year-over-year.
ABC and ESPN: Top Five Highest-Rated Games of the Season
Kickoff Weekend continued ESPN’s fast start to the season, which began when ESPN televised Miami-Florida in Week 0 (Aug. 24) and delivered the network’s highest-rated college football game since 2016. Inclusive of that game, ESPN and ABC have aired the five highest-rated games of the season and ESPN’s networks, overall, have 15 of top 17.
|1||Oregon-Auburn||4.4||ABC||Sat, Aug. 31|
|2||Miami-Florida||4.1||ESPN||Sat, Aug. 24|
|3||Notre Dame-Louisville||3.7||ESPN||Mon, Sept. 2|
|4||Houston-Oklahoma||3.6||ABC||Sun, Sept. 1|
|5||Duke-Alabama||3.1||ABC||Sat, Aug. 31|
Notre Dame-Louisville Concludes Weekend with Another Top-Rated Game; Adds to ESPN’s Cable Supremacy
ESPN’s Labor Day telecast featuring Notre Dame at Louisville (8 p.m. ET) delivered a 3.7 overnight, making it the second highest-rated game of Kickoff Weekend across any network and the third highest-rated game of the season. With the Week 0 and Labor Day overnight ratings leading the way, ESPN and ESPNEWS have combined to air the top 11 highest-rated games on cable through Kickoff Weekend. Additional Irish-Cardinals highlights:
- The 3.7 rating was in line with last season’s Labor Day telecast featuring Virginia Tech-Florida State (3.8 overnight).
- The overnight peaked throughout the first half, consistently landing at a 4.4 from 9 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. before the Irish took a 21-14 lead and never trailed again.
- Louisville was the No. 1 local market, earning a 16.6 local rating. The remaining top markets:
Additional Kickoff Week Highlights
- Besting the Competition: ESPN’s networks had the highest-rated game in nearly every game window:
- Thursday: Two highest-rated games on August 29
- Friday: Two highest-rated games on August 30
- Saturday: Highest-rated late afternoon and top three highest-rated night games on August 31
- Starting Saturday Strong:
- ESPN’s networks, cumulatively, were the highest-rated networks among any media company in the noon game window on Saturday, Aug. 31. In that window, ESPN’s networks combined to deliver a 3.4 overnight across its four games.
- College GameDay Built by the Home Depot (9 a.m.-noon) delivered a 1.4 overnight (ESPN and ESPNU), including a 1.6 for its final hour on ESPN only.
Numbers included all based on Nielsen overnights; Additional final viewership elements will be available this week