ESPN Platforms Boast Banner Year for College Football, as ABC Leads the Way with Most Total Minutes Watched and ESPN+ Streams the Platform’s Most-Watched Season Ever

The 2023 college football season will go down in the record books as the most-consumed on record across all networks, and ESPN platforms rose to the challenge with multi-year viewership highs and the most-watched season ever for ESPN+. ABC led the way across all networks and media companies with more total minutes watched than any other individual network, as 24% of the sport’s viewers tuned in to ABC.

ESPN platforms delivered their second most-watched season since 2016, averaging nearly 1.7 million viewers per game across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU. ABC finished on par with the 2022 season, producing its second-best season since 2017 with nearly 4 million viewers. ESPN aired its second most-watched season since 2017, averaging just over 2 million viewers.

ESPN+ scored its most-watched season ever, with college football games on the platform up 3% year-over-year in unique viewers and up 8% in minutes. This fall also saw ESPN+ register the top two days ever for live college football content (Sept. 2 & Sept. 9), and the platform presented three of the top four most-watched college football games ever for ESPN+ (No. 1: UT Martin at Georgia – Sept. 2; No. 3: Austin Peay at Tennessee – Sept. 9; No. 4 SMU at Oklahoma – Sept. 9).

ESPN is the Home of College Football

Individual Game Highlights

Local Market Ratings Roar in Primetime

ESPN Saturday Primetime Football

Rank Market Avg. Rating
1 Birmingham 13.4
2 Knoxville 8.1
3 New Orleans 5.7
4 Atlanta 4.9
5 Nashville 4.5
6 Memphis 4.2
7 Jacksonville-N. Brunswk. 4.0
8 Greenville-Sprtnburg-Ash 3.8
9 Louisville 3.4
10 Raleigh-Durham 3.3

ABC Saturday Night Football Presented by Capital One

Rank Market Avg. Rating
1 Austin 5.1
2 Oklahoma City 4.5
3 Birmingham 4.4
4 Greenville-Sprtnburg-Ash 4.3
5 Tulsa 3.9
6 Atlanta 3.8
7 Columbus, OH 3.8
8 Louisville 3.6
9 Seattle-Tacoma 3.5
10 Raleigh-Durham 3.3


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