College GameDay Built by The Home Depot Finishes with Its Most-Watched Season Since 2015

College Football

College GameDay Built by The Home Depot Finishes with Its Most-Watched Season Since 2015


  • Averaged 1,956,000 Viewers per Show, Reached Nearly 36 Million Fans
  • Setting Records, Raising the Bar: Most Consecutive Shows Over Two Million Viewers and a Top Three Most-Watched Show on Record among Season Achievements
  • New Countdown to GameDay Pre-show Among Digital Brand Growth

College GameDay Built by The Home Depot finished with the show’s most-watched season since 2015 and its second best since the show expanded to three hours seven seasons ago (2013). The 11-time Emmy-winning pregame show (9 a.m. – noon ET) averaged 1,956,000 viewers on ESPN and ESPNU, up 3% from last season on the same two networks and up 6% from the 2017 season when the show was only on ESPN. The viewership was only 5,000 viewers shy of its 2015 viewership (1,961,000 viewers), which is the best on record since 2013.

In College GameDay’s final hour (11 a.m. – noon), the production averaged 2,382,000 viewers on ESPN alone, also up 3% from last season’s final hour on ESPN. Overall, across all three hours, College GameDay reached 35,900,000 viewers, also a multi-season high.

Additional College GameDay Audience Highlights

  • Among Most-Watched Episodes Ever: College GameDay’s most-watched episode this season aired on Nov. 30, as 2,311,000 viewers tuned in when the road show originated from Minneapolis for the first time. In addition to being 2019’s best audience, the viewership ranks third among all three-hour College GameDay episodes (101 shows).
  • New Record: College GameDay averaged more than 2.1 million viewers for four consecutive shows (Nov. 9, 16, 23, 30), the show’s first time accomplishing the feat since expanding to three hours.
  • Fans Respond to Storytelling: Nearly each week, College GameDay’s Emmy-winning features unit would go beyond the field and bring viewers the inside story of the personalities who make college football. Nielsen research shows College GameDay’s audience grew by an average of 4% during these features throughout the season.
  • More Time Spent with GameDay: College GameDay set a new time spent viewing record for the show this season, as fans watched an average of 48 minutes when tuning in each Saturday, the show’s best mark since expanding to three hours in 2013.
  • Key Demos Help Overall Growth: GameDay saw increases in key demos, including persons 25-34 and persons 25-54.

Countdown to GameDay: Big Debut Season, Reaches 21 Million Viewers
College GameDay expanded its digital presence this season, introducing a new onsite Countdown to GameDay show each week (8:30-9 a.m.) and providing a heightened focus on various social media platforms.

  • Countdown to GameDay reached 22 million viewers during its debut season, with each show averaging 1.4 million fans. The show was available each week on the ESPN App, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
  • College GameDay on Snapchat reached 14.3 million viewers, up 17% year-over-year. Of those fans, more than 93% are between the age of 13-34 and 74% of viewers are between the ages of 13-24.

College GameDay Show Highlights

  • College GameDay began the season with road show number 365 (Aug. 24) and finished with road show 382 (Dec. 14).
  • The show originated from five new sites this season: Disney World (Aug. 24), Ames, Iowa (Sept. 14), Brookings, S.D. (Oct. 26), Memphis, Tenn. (Nov. 2) and Minneapolis (Nov. 30). Now, GameDay has now been to 75 schools and 89 different cities since its first road show in 1993.
  • College GameDay reacquainted itself with a number of locations this season:
    • Nebraska (Sept. 28): first time since 2007
    • Texas (Sept. 7): first time since 2009
    • Florida (Oct. 5): first time since 2012
    • Georgia (Sept. 21): first time since 2013
  • Coach Corso selected three new headgears this season: Iowa State, SMU and Minnesota. He has now donned 61 different headgears since 1996.

2020 Season to Begin Overseas
College GameDay will be on location for the College Football Playoff, New Year’s Six and CFP National Championship; however, it is never too early to look forward to next season. College GameDay will start the 2020 season in Dublin, Ireland, in advance of Notre Dame vs. Navy on Aug. 29, marking the first ever College GameDay from outside the United States.

Please Note:

College GameDay season viewership average excludes Week 0 and Army-Navy specials, as do all year-over-year comparisons. Countdown to College GameDay includes Army-Navy specials.

Unless noted, viewership statistics include ESPN and ESPNU for both this season and the 2018 season, when ESPNU began simulcasting the show.

Specific show’s viewership numbers for this season reflect latest Nielsen data, which includes additional streaming reporting from Nielsen since initial numbers were available.


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.
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