ABC’s Saturday Night Football: Oklahoma at Baylor was Most-Watched College Football Game of the Week and Most-Watched Telecast across All Television on Saturday

College Football

ABC’s Saturday Night Football: Oklahoma at Baylor was Most-Watched College Football Game of the Week and Most-Watched Telecast across All Television on Saturday

  • Sooners-Bears Generate Audience North of 6.7 Million Viewers; Helps ABC Finish Weekly Tripleheader Up 16% Year-Over-Year

  • All ESPN’s Nielsen-Rated Networks See Growth in Noon Window; ESPN Generates Increase in Multiple Game Windows

  • College GameDay Built by The Home Depot Surpasses Two Million Viewers for Second Consecutive Week

ABC’s Saturday Night Football featuring Oklahoma at Baylor (7:30 p.m. ET) was the most-watched college football game of the week across all networks and also ranks among the season’s most-watched games. Across all of television, the Big 12 game generated the most viewers of any program and finished an ABC tripleheader which resulted in the network generating a 16% year-over-year increase. ESPN’s College GameDay Built by The Home Depot (9 a.m. – noon) surpassed two million viewers for the second consecutive week, beginning a day in which the network generated audience increases in multiple game windows.

With three weeks remaining in the regular season, ESPN’s networks are now up 8% year-over-year across all game coverage.

ABC’s Saturday Night Football Leads the Way Across All of Television
The Sooners and Bears averaged 6,785,000 viewers, a 74% audience increase from last year’s window (Clemson at Boston College). The television audience peaked at 8,500,000 viewers as Oklahoma completed its school record 25-point comeback (11-11:15 p.m.).

ABC’s average audience resulted in the network “winning the night” across all broadcast and cable networks, as it generated the largest audience among all television programs on November 16. In addition to all viewers, the Big 12 game led among key male, female and adult demos. Including the entire college football season, ESPN and ABC has “won the night” 10 times, including eight Saturday nights.

Additional Sooners-Bears Highlights:  

  • Multi-Season High: The 6,785,000 viewers is ABC’s best for a Big 12 intra-conference game* since 2013 (Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State)
  • Among Season’s Best: The audience was the eighth highest for a game this season across all networks

Continuing the primetime success, ESPN’s telecast of LSU at Ole Miss (7 p.m.) averaged 2,626,000 viewers, the second most-watched primetime game, surpassing the broadcast network’s competition.

ESPN’s Networks Start Day Strong, Every Network Up in the Noon Window
All four of ESPN’s Nielsen-rated networks saw audience increases in the noon window: ABC up 29%, ESPN 18%, ESPN2 44% and ESPNU 25%. The two biggest audiences across these networks were on ABC and ESPN, as Indiana at Penn State (ABC) generated 2,934,000 viewers, while Alabama at Mississippi State (ESPN) earned 2,489,000 viewers.

In the day’s final game window, ESPN’s presentation of Arizona at Oregon (10:30 p.m.) averaged 1,611,000 viewers, a slight increase from last year’s similar game (Cal at USC).

College GameDay’s Two Most-Watched Shows Have Occurred in Past Two Weeks
College GameDay has aired its two highest-rated shows each of the past two weeks, as this week’s episode from Waco, Texas, averaged 2,135,000 viewers — trailing only last week as the show’s highest this season. For the week, College GameDay was up 11% year-over-year and for the season, up 4% year-over-year.

*Full national windows only


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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