SBD/December 20, 2013/Media

ESPN's "College GameDay" Sees Viewership Drop Nearly 10% From '12

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ESPN’s “College GameDay” averaged 1.83 million viewers during the ’13 season, which was the first time the net featured a three-hour show. The viewership level this season was down around 10% from the show’s average last year, when it was a two-hour program. The top telecast this year was the season-opening show from the Georgia-Clemson game, which averaged 2.11 million viewers. The second-best “GameDay” audience this season was for the Alabama-Auburn game on Nov. 20 (2.05 million viewers). Over the last five years, Alabama has been involved in six of the 15 most-viewed “GameDay” telecasts. The program has aired from Tuscaloosa a total of eight times since it began going to game sites in ’93. Meanwhile, the first season of “Fox College Saturday” on FS1 averaged 73,000 viewers for the 10:00am-12:00pm ET show. The show’s best audience was its second with 120,000 viewers on Sept. 7. The show failed to crack the 100,000-viewer mark in subsequent episodes (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).

ESPN "COLLEGE GAMEDAY" VIEWERSHIP TREND
YEAR
VIEWERS (000)
'13
1,830
'12
2,033
'11
2,068
'10
2,062
'09
2,034
   

CHART NOTE: "College GameDay" was a two-hour show on ESPN for the period of '09-12.

'13 ESPN "COLLEGE GAMEDAY" VIEWERSHIP
DATE
SITE
VIEWERS (000)
8/31
Georgia-Clemson
2,112
9/7
Notre Dame-Michigan
1,832
9/14
Alabama-Texas A&M
1,874
9/21
Delaware State-North Dakota State
1,828
9/28
LSU-Georgia
1,790
10/5
Ohio State-Northwestern
1,688
10/12
Oregon-Washington
1,620
10/19
Florida State-Clemson
1,821
10/26
UCLA-Oregon
1,680
11/2
Miami-Florida State
1,823
11/9
LSU-Alabama
1,877
11/16
Stanford-USC
1,768
11/23
Baylor-Oklahoma State
1,787
11/30
Alabama-Auburn
2,052
12/7
Big Ten Championship: Michigan State-Ohio State (Indianapolis)
1,815
     

STATE OF THE NATION: SI.com's Richard Deitsch noted ESPN will launch the SEC Network next August, and the net's Saturday morning college football pregame show, called "SEC Nation," will be "one of its most important properties." SEC Network VP/Production Stephanie Druley said that the show, which will air from 10:00am-12:00pm, "will travel to as many SEC football sites as it can" during the '14 college season. The show debuts on Aug. 28 in Columbia, S.C., for the season-opening, Thursday night Texas A&M-South Carolina game, and two days later will broadcast from the Arkansas-Auburn game. "SEC Nation," unlike "College GameDay," will announce its schedule "a couple of weeks in advance and will not necessarily be at games airing on the SEC Network that day." Druley said that the show will be "heavy on atmosphere and there will be a food segment given some of the great SEC cuisine traditions." ESPN execs "will aim to have 'SEC Nation' at a different site from 'College GameDay' but circumstances might align (such as the SEC Championship) where both shows will broadcast from the same site." Druley said that viewers "should look for additional staffers to be announced sometime after the BCS title game and that it was important to have a former coach or player who competed in the SEC" (SI.com, 12/15).

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