Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual Generates Audience North of 16.3 Million Viewers; Second Most-Watched Non-Semifinal New Year’s Six Game of the College Football Playoff Era

College Football

Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual Generates Audience North of 16.3 Million Viewers; Second Most-Watched Non-Semifinal New Year’s Six Game of the College Football Playoff Era

  • Georgia-Baylor Delivers Allstate Sugar Bowl’s Second Highest Non-Semifinal Audience of the College Football Playoff Era

  • Vrbo Citrus Bowl Audience Surpasses 14 Million Viewers on ABC, Network’s Most-Watched Bowl Game Since 2010 National Championship

  • College Football Playoff Semifinals are Officially Most-Watched Non-New Year’s Day Semifinals

The Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual featuring Oregon vs. Wisconsin (January 1 at 5 p.m. ET) generated a multi-network audience of 16,304,000 viewers, the second most-watched non-Semifinal New Year’s Six game in the College Football Playoff era (24 games). The audience for the Ducks’ victory surpasses the 2017 Rose Bowl between Penn State and USC (15,740,000 viewers) to earn the distinction. The Rose Bowl audience peaked at nearly 20 million viewers late in the fourth quarter (8:30-8:45 p.m.).

The Ducks-Badgers’ Rose Bowl audience is within 4% of last season’s Ohio State-Washington Rose Bowl Game audience, which is the most-watched non-Semifinal New Year’s Six matchup. The Buckeyes-Huskies’ audience includes full streaming data, while only partial streaming data for the Ducks-Badgers matchup is currently available. Full data for this season’s game will be available later next week.

In continuing the trend, the Allstate Sugar Bowl between Georgia and Baylor (January 1 at 8:45 p.m.) recorded an audience of 10,224,000 viewers, out delivering the 2017 Sugar Bowl (Oklahoma vs. Auburn) to become the second most-watched non-Semifinal Sugar Bowl of the College Football Playoff era.

This season’s Rose Bowl audience was more than 20% higher than the 2016 Rose Bowl game (Stanford vs. Iowa) and the Sugar Bowl viewership was 14% higher than the 2016 Sugar Bowl (Oklahoma State vs. Ole Miss).

ABC Airs Citrus Bowl’s Best Audience Since 2008;Top Four Audience for the Game Since at Least 1991
ABC aired its most-watched bowl game since the 2010 National Championship as the Vrbo Citrus Bowl, between Michigan and Alabama (January 1 at 1 p.m.) generated an audience of 14,003,000 viewers. Among Citrus Bowls all-time, the audience for the Alabama win was the bowl’s fourth-highest audience dating back to at least the 1991 season and its best since the 2008 season (Florida vs. Michigan – 14,780,000 viewers).

College Football Playoff Semifinals are Officially Most-Watched Non-New Year’s Day College Football Playoff Semifinals
Now with complete streaming data reported, the College Football Playoff Semifinals average jumps to 19.6 million viewers (from 19.3 million), officially the most-watched CFP Semifinals for the four seasons the games were played outside of New Year’s Day. Year-over-year, the CFP Semifinals are now up 8% (from 6%).

ESPN’s Networks Surpassing Five Million Viewers Per Bowl Game
Accounting for 30 bowl games this year — inclusive of the entire New Year’s Six and all games through January 1 — ESPN’s networks are averaging 5,028,000 viewers per game – on par through a similar slate of games last season.

Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl were aired on ESPN and ESPN2, as they were last season. Combined viewership is reflected in the release for both years.

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Media contact: Derek Volner at 860-384-9986; [email protected] and @DerekVolner

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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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