College GameDay Built by The Home Depot’s Viewership Experiencing Its Best Start Since 2015

College Football

College GameDay Built by The Home Depot’s Viewership Experiencing Its Best Start Since 2015

  • Averaging More than 1.9 Million Viewers Per Show, Second Highest Average Since Expanding to Three Hours
  • More than 23.6 Million Fans Have Watched the Television Show
  • New Digital Show, Countdown to GameDay, has Reached 7.9 Million Fans

College GameDay Built by The Home Depot is on pace to rewrite its own record books this season, as the show’s viewership is off to its best start since the 2015 season and its second best since expanding to three hours. Through the show’s first seven episodes, the 11-time Emmy-winning pregame program is averaging 1,902,000 viewers per episode (9 a.m. – noon ET), up 4% from last season’s first seven editions and up 10% from the start of the 2017 season. In the final hour, GameDay is averaging 2,402,000 viewers (11 a.m. – noon), also a multiple season high, including up 3% from last season. Overall, more than 23.6 million fans have watched a portion of the show so far this season.

“There’s nothing more gratifying to our entire team than the tremendous support we receive from our fans,” said College GameDay host Rece Davis. “Our goal — every year, every week — is to keep the show fresh. We are consistently seeking out new ideas, tweaking our approach, and implementing new techniques, all while building upon a legacy that has been established over the past 25 years. There’s nothing like the atmosphere surrounding the College GameDay franchise and our entire team is grateful to be part of a show that is so interwoven into the fabric of Saturdays in the fall.”

Additional College GameDay Season Viewership Superlatives:

  • Key Demos Increase: Males (25-54) up 3%, adults (25-54) up 2%, and females up 2%
  • Staying Engaged: Fans have increased their time spent viewing by 6% per telecast this season
  • Week-to-Week Gains: College GameDay has experienced weekly ‘year-over-year’ viewership gains in five of the seven weeks this season.
  • New Digital Show Enhances Audience: More than 7.9 million fans have watched Countdown to GameDay — a digital program which debuted this season and is streamed across the ESPN App, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube from 8:30 – 9 a.m. live and on location each week.

New Season, Same Strong Content:

  • Breaking News as it Happens
    College GameDay continues to be the home of Saturday morning breaking news nearly every show. Injury updates, last-minute personnel changes and weather scenarios make their way into nearly every show. The most recent example was last week, prior to the Red River Rivalry:

    • Rece Davis provided informative reports on the Texas-Oklahoma pregame skirmish, which resulted in every member of the both teams being assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty before the game kicked off.
  • Storytelling and Journalism Remain Key Staples
    College GameDay’s strong tradition of storytelling continues this season, providing in-depth features on figures from around the game each week. One of the most emotional this season was on Arkansas State head coach Blake Anderson and his quest to keep persevering after the passing of his wife.
  • College Football’s Biggest Names
    Comprehensive conversations with the sport’s most influential players and coaches continue to be a driving force on the show.
        • Sit-Down Features: Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, LSU’s Joe Borrow, Ohio State’s Justin Fields and Ryan Day, Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts, and Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor have all been featured interviews.
        • Live on Set: Auburn’s Gus Malzahn, Florida’s Dan Mullen, Georgia’s Kirby Smart, Iowa State’s Matt Campbell, LSU’s Ed Orgeron, and Nebraska’s Scott Frost. During his bye week, Alabama head coach Nick Saban joined the show live from his home and, this week, Penn State’s James Franklin is expected to join the show
  • Great Crowds and Festive Atmospheres to Greet College GameDay Everywhere it Goes
    In its 26th year of road shows, College GameDay continues to provide one of the most unique sports fan experiences. This season, College GameDay has traveled to six campuses, one neutral site, and The Happiest Place on Earth:

    • Magic Kingdom (First show)
    • Ames, Iowa (First show)
    • Athens, Ga. (2013)
    • Austin (2009)
    • Gainesville, Fla. (2012)
    • Lincoln, Neb. (2007)
    • Sundance Square (2015)
    • Baton Rouge, La. (2018)

(Designates last appearance at site location)

Next Stop: State College, Pa.
College GameDay continues this weekend, televising live from State College, Pa., in advance of No. 16 Michigan at No. 7 Penn State on ABC’s Saturday Night Football. The show will continue each week through the end of the season before ramping up for the College Football Playoff and the CFP National Championship.

Please note:
Beginning with the 2018 season, College GameDay is televised on both ESPN and ESPNU. Combined viewership from both networks are utilized in this season’s and 2018 season’s averages.

For every year, including this season, ESPN’s Week 0 show is not included in the show averages nor are special shows, such as Thursday Kickoff editions.

The show extended to three hours in 2013.



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.
Back to top button