SBD/Issue 81/Sports Media

ABC Earns 17.2 For Alabama-Texas, Most-Viewed Title Game Since '06

ABC's Rating For Thursday's BCS National
Championship Game Up 8.9% From Last Year
ABC earned a 17.2 final rating and 30.776 million viewers for Thursday's Alabama-Texas Citi BCS National Championship Game, up 8.9% and 14.9%, respectively, from a 15.8 rating and 26.778 million viewers for last year's Florida-Oklahoma championship game on Fox. The game marked the most-viewed BCS title game since the '06 Texas-USC Rose Bowl earned 35.630 million viewers, the last time ABC broadcast the title game. Alabama-Texas also earned ABC its biggest Thursday night audience since October '95 and the biggest audience for any net since ABC's coverage of the Academy Awards in February. The game earned a 67.4 local rating in Birmingham and a 47.8 local rating in Austin, marking the highest-rated bowl game in both markets in recent years (THE DAILY). In Dallas, Barry Horn noted Dallas' WFAA-ABC earned a 31.3 local rating for the game, which is "well short" of the 34.5 rating Texas-USC earned in the market. Horn: "You probably can blame the [Texas QB] Colt McCoy injury for that." Meanwhile, Horn noted the 67.4 rating in Birmingham means "a smidge more than two of every three homes were tuned into the game" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/9).

OFF TARGET: In Dallas, Tim Cowlishaw wrote ABC announcers Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit during Alabama-Texas needed to "get over" the storyline of Alabama RB Mark Ingram's father's imprisonment. Cowlishaw: "The kid won the Heisman, you think this story wasn't beaten to death that week?" (DALLASNEWS.com, 1/8). Meanwhile, in N.Y., Phil Mushnick noted Musburger "didn't even question why, 'Bama, up 10, second down and 47 seconds left, tried to score -- and did -- instead of just kneeing the clock" (N.Y. POST, 1/10).

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