SBD/September 7, 2011/Media

LSU's Win Over Oregon Leads All Labor Day Weekend College Football Ratings

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ABC's primetime coverage of LSU-Oregon Saturday night led all sports telecasts over Labor Day weekend with a 4.7 overnight Nielsen rating, up 67.9% from a 2.8 overnight last year for the comparable LSU-North Carolina game. The net also earned a 2.2 overnight for its regional coverage in the 3:30pm ET window, down 18.5% from last year. ESPN’s top college football game for the weekend was Monday night’s Miami-Maryland matchup, which earned a 3.4 overnight rating. That figure is down 50% from the comparable Boise State-Virginia Tech game last year. ESPN also earned a 2.3 overnight for both the TCU-Baylor game on Friday night and the primetime Boise State-Georgia contest on Saturday. The net’s first “College GameDay” telecast of the season earned a 1.7 overnight, flat compared to the first telecast last year. Weather delays cut into NBC’s first Notre Dame football telecast of the season. The net earned a 2.4 overnight for live game coverage from 3:30-5:30pm and 7:15-9:00pm. The second weather delay pushed the end of the game to Versus so NBC could air the made-for-TV movie "Game Time: Tackling The Past" (Austin Karp, THE DAILY). USA TODAY’s Michael Hiestand notes the Tulsa-Oklahoma game on FX, the channel's first college football telecast, earned a 0.8 overnight, indicating the net “will need time before viewers figure out it even carries that sport.” The 0.8 overnight was “even with FX’s rating in the slot last year” (USA TODAY, 9/7). Saturday night’s Boise State-Georgia matchup earned a 16.7 local rating in Atlanta, translating to an audience of around 402,000 HHs (AJC.com, 9/6).

SELECT COLLEGE FOOTBALL OVERNIGHT RATINGS
OVER LABOR DAY WEEKEND
DAY
MATCHUP
START
NET
RAT.
'10 MATCHUP
RAT.
Sat.
LSU-Oregon
8:00pm
ABC
4.7
LSU-North Carolina
2.8
Mon.
Miami-Maryland
8:00pm
ESPN
3.4
Boise State-Virginia Tech
6.8
Sat.
South Florida-Notre Dame^
3:30pm
NBC
2.4
Purdue-Notre Dame
2.3
Fri.
TCU-Baylor
8:00pm
ESPN
2.3
Arizona-Toledo
1.2
Sat.
Boise State-Georgia
8:00pm
ESPN
2.3
Oregon State-TCU
2.6
Sat.
(regional)
3:30pm
ABC
2.2
(regional)
2.7
Sat.
Utah State-Auburn
12:00pm
ESPN2
1.9
Western Michigan-
Michigan State
0.7
Sat.
Akron-Ohio State
12:00pm
ESPN
1.8
Miami (OH)-Florida
2.7
Sat.
BYU-Ole Miss
4:45pm
ESPN
1.5
Texas-Rice
1.8
Sun.
Marshall-West Virginia*
3:45pm
ESPN
1.4
SMU-Texas Tech
1.4
   
 

CHART NOTES: ^ = After weather delays, game finished on Versus from 9:19-9:41pm ET. * = Game aired from 3:45-5:45pm and then 8:45-9:00pm due to weather delays.

RIDING THE STORM OUT: In St. Petersburg, Tom Jones wrote two weather delays during the USF-Notre Dame game "could have been a television nightmare for NBC," but it "turned out to be a shining moment" for the net. NBC Sports golf Producer Tommy Roy on Saturday filled in for Rob Hyland, who typically produces NBC's Notre Dame games but was in South Korea for the World Track & Field Championships, and "no sports producer is more accustomed to weather delays than Roy." Similarly, no play-by-play announcer "is more used to filling time during weather delays" than golf announcer Dan Hicks, who filled in during USF-Notre Dame for Tom Hammond. Jones added, "Another star Saturday was sideline reporter Alex Flanagan. For those who think sideline reporters are unnecessary, Flanagan proved otherwise Saturday. ... We learned the teams were getting nutrition through food and drink, and that no one was allowed to watch video of the first half. That's good stuff" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 9/5). USA TODAY's Hiestand wrote NBC deserved "kudos" for its coverage, noting the net "reported oddities like the waiting teams not being allowed to review game video" (USA TODAY, 9/6).

SOLID DEBUT: In Oklahoma City, Mel Bracht wrote FX' college football debut was "led by solid play-by-play by former CBS announcer Gus Johnson and excellent commentary by Charles Davis and sideline analyst Tim Brewster." Johnson "brought his fun delivery to the telecast," and Fox deserves credit "for hiring him to headline its college football game of the week." Brewster, who coached the Univ. of Minnesota from '07-10, "brought a coach's eye to his ground-level position," which was a "big improvement over the usual inane reports from sideline reporters." But Bracht wrote FX' studio work "wasn't up to the same level." "The Insider" host Kevin Frazier was "solid with the highlight packages," but analyst Marcus Allen "has a lot to learn about the college game" (DAILY OKLAHOMAN, 9/4).

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