SBD/January 8, 2014/Media

Viewership For Final Iteration Of BCS Games Up; Title Game Third-Best Cable Audience

ESPN averaged a 9.4 rating and 16.6 million viewers for the five BCS bowl game telecasts this season, up 7% and 10%, respectively, from an 8.8 rating and 15.1 million viewers last year. The five-game average also was up 12% and 18%, respectively, from ’12. Monday night’s Florida State-Auburn Vizio National Championship game finished with a 14.4 rating and 25.6 million viewers, marking the third-largest audience in cable TV history, behind only the BCS title games from ’11 (Auburn-Oregon) and ’13 (Alabama-Notre Dame). This year’s audience is down 5% and 3%, respectively, from a 15.1 rating and 26.4 million viewers from Dame last year. Including audience figures from the BCS "Megacast" on ESPN2 and ESPNews, the BCS title game delivered a 14.8 rating and 26.1 million viewers (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).

VIEWERSHIP TREND FOR FIVE BCS GAME TELECASTS
YEAR
NETWORK(S)
RATING
VIEWERS (000)
'14
ESPN
9.4
16,589
'13
ESPN
8.8
15,131
'12
ESPN
8.4
14,018
'11
ESPN
9.6
16,729
'10
Fox/ABC
10.9
19,278
'09
Fox/ABC
10.3
17,595
'08
Fox/ABC
9.4
15,554
'07
Fox/ABC
11.1
18,123
BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP AUDIENCE TREND
YEAR
DAY
MATCHUP
NETWORK
RATING
VIEWERS (000)
'14
Mon.
Florida State-Auburn
ESPN
14.4
25,572
'13
Mon.
Alabama-Notre Dame
ESPN
15.1
26,380
'12
Mon.
Alabama-LSU
ESPN
14.0
24,214
'11
Mon.
Auburn-Oregon
ESPN
15.3
27,316
'10
Thurs.
Alabama-Texas
ABC
17.2
30,776
'09
Thurs.
Florida-Oklahoma
Fox
15.8
26,767
'08
Mon.
LSU-Ohio State
Fox
14.4
23,069
'07
Mon.
Florida-Ohio State
Fox
17.4
28,795
'06
Wed.
Texas-USC (Rose Bowl)
ABC
21.7
35,630
'05
Tues.
USC-Oklahoma (Orange Bowl)
ABC
13.7
21,419
'04
Sun.
LSU-Oklahoma (Sugar Bowl)
ABC
14.8
23,937
'03
Fri.
Ohio State-Miami (Fiesta Bowl)
ABC
17.2
29,104
'02
Thurs.
Miami-Nebraska (Rose Bowl)
ABC
13.8
21,559
'01
Wed.
Oklahoma-Florida State (Orange Bowl)
ABC
17.8
27,240
'00
Tues.
Florida State-Virginia Tech (Sugar Bowl)
ABC
17.5
26,962
'99
Mon.
Tennessee-Florida State (Fiesta Bowl)
ABC
17.2
26,112
       

AN UNLIKELY STAR? ESPN's Michael Wilbon noted Alabama coach Nick Saban was "great" during his guest analyst appearances around the BCS title game and said, "A star is born." Wilbon acknowledged Saban likely "will never even get to a TV career because he doesn't need it," but asked, "How great is he to listen to? Wonderful to listen to." Wilbon: "Saban, who is so irritating sometimes as a coach, is so great as a broadcaster. He brings up things that no one could think of other than a great coach" ("PTI," ESPN, 1/7).

HE'S STILL GOT IT: In California, Steve Fryer writes ESPN's Brent Musburger has had "a couple of awkward moments on BCS title game telecasts, like the excessive gushing" over Katherine Webb last year. But Musburger "did a smooth job Monday night, making a very difficult job look easy." The 74-year-old Musburger "sounds as good as he did 30 years ago" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 1/8).
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