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SUGAR BOWL RATINGS JUMP WITH FINAL NATIONAL: UP 2% OVER '99
Published January 6, 2000
ABC's coverage of Tuesday's Sugar Bowl earned a 17.5/28 fast national Nielsen rating, up 2% from last year's comparable 17.2/26 for the Fiesta Bowl (ABC). ABC estimates that 56 million viewers tuned in to the game. Meanwhile, USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke writes the four BCS Bowls -- Sugar, Rose, Orange and Fiesta -- averaged a 13.2 rating, up 4% over last year's 12.6 average (USA TODAY, 1/6). On "Biz Buzz," Beverly Schuch reported ABC Sports "had a lot to cheer about" with the Sugar Bowl rating (CNNfn, 1/5). DAILY VARIETY's Tom Bierbaum writes the Sugar Bowl "attracted 26.98 million viewers during an average minute," compared to last year's Fiesta Bowl which averaged 26.11 million viewers. The game "finished behind only last January's Super Bowl in total viewers and adults 18-34 among major championship sporting events televised over the last 12 months, outscoring college basketball's championship game in March." The bowl tied with the men's college basketball championship for second in adults 18-49, with Game Four of the World Series just ahead of the Sugar Bowl for second place in households (DAILY VARIETY, 1/6). BUT NOT EVERYONE IS HAPPY: In DC, Michael Wilbon addresses criticism of the BCS format and calls for a playoff format: "I think a college football playoff might quickly grow to be as big as March Madness for the simple reason that football is bigger in America than basketball." More Wilbon: "You know why professional wrestling works? Its promoters understand what people want, find the sponsors to pay the freight, and give it to them. You would think university presidents and conference commissioners would have that much savvy, wouldn't you?" (WASHINGTON POST, 1/6). BOWL NOTE: In Idaho, Mike Prather reported that Humanitarian Bowl President Steve Schmader "has resigned," and the Boise River Festival management team "no longer will run" the bowl game. Bowl host school Boise State and host conference the Big West are now "searching for a new management team to run" the game (IDAHO STATESMAN, 1/5).