The Bedlam and Egg Bowl games, and College GameDay’s visit to Ann Arbor for “The Game,” all scored viewership wins for ESPN networks during Thanksgiving Weekend’s traditional college football Rivalry Week. In all, 10 games across ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC delivered an audience of at least one million viewers, and ABC aired its most-watched Rivalry Week since 2017.
ABC’s Saturday Night Football finished its regular season averaging 5.1 million viewers, up 36 percent over 2020 and on par with the 2019 season. On ABC, college football viewership is up 28 percent year-over-year and four percent over 2019, averaging four million viewers per game. Across ABC, ESPN and ESPN2, the three networks combined for nearly two million viewers per game, up 17 percent year-over-year and up two percent from 2019.
College GameDay’s biggest audience of the season, most-viewed show since 2018 Rivalry Week
College GameDay Built by The Home Depot’s three-hour show from the Ohio State-Michigan game in Ann Arbor, Mich., averaged a season-best 2,314,000 viewers, the most-viewed episode since Rivalry Week in 2018 – and the third-best audience since GameDay expanded to three hours in 2013. The final hour averaged 3,026,000 viewers, the show’s best final hour since the 2018 Rivalry Week telecast – and the fifth highest since 2013. Saturday’s show from The Game was the most-viewed college football pre-game show and had the most-viewed final hour from 11 a.m. – noon ET.
Oklahoma-Oklahoma State on ABC is most-viewed Bedlam game since 2013
ABC’s Saturday Night Football featuring Oklahoma at Oklahoma State averaged 6,486,000 viewers, the most-viewed Bedlam game since 2013 and the third-best of this rivalry (behind 2008 and 2013). The audience peaked with 7.7 million viewers in the final 15 minutes and helped ABC win the night as the most-viewed network in primetime among all demos. ESPN/ABC has now won the night for four straight college football Saturdays.
Ole Miss-Mississippi State on ESPN cooks up the best Egg Bowl audience since 2017
ESPN’s Ole Miss at Mississippi State on Thanksgiving night averaged 2,060,000 viewers, the most-viewed Egg Bowl rivalry game since 2017 and the third-best in the past decade.
Additional Viewership Highlights:
- Penn State at Michigan State (ABC): 3,893,000 viewers
- North Carolina at N.C. State (Friday, ESPN): 2,681,000 viewers
- Texas A&M at LSU (ESPN): 2,351,000 viewers