SBD/January 12, 2016/Media

ESPN Overnight Rating For CFP Championship Drops 15%, But Still Third-Best Figure Ever

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ESPN last night drew a 15.8 overnight rating for Alabama’s fourth national football title in seven years. The Crimson Tide's 45-40 win over Clemson is down 15% from the inaugural CFP National Championship last season, which saw Ohio State defeat Oregon 42-20. While down sharply from last season, Alabama-Clemson is ESPN’s third-best overnight since it began airing college football’s national title game in '11. It also was higher than four title games on broadcast TV during the BCS era. Southern markets dominated the rankings last night. Birmingham led all markets with a 59.2 local rating, followed by Greenville-Spartanburg -- Clemson's home market -- with a 39.0. Atlanta, Nashville, Knoxville, New Orleans, Jacksonville, Columbus, Charlotte and West Palm Beach rounded out the top 10. Greenville-Spartanburg’s figure was its best rating on record for an ESPN postseason telecast. 

COLLEGE FOOTBALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP OVERNIGHT RATINGS TREND
YEAR
NET
DAY
MATCHUP
OVERNIGHT
'16
ESPN
Mon.
Alabama-Clemson
15.8
'15
ESPN
Mon.
Ohio State-Oregon
18.5
'14
ESPN
Mon.
Florida State-Auburn
15.3
'13
ESPN
Mon.
Alabama-Notre Dame
15.7
'12
ESPN
Mon.
Alabama-LSU
13.8
'11
ESPN
Mon.
Auburn-Oregon
16.1
'10
ABC
Thurs.
Alabama-Texas
18.2
'09
Fox
Thurs.
Florida-Oklahoma
16.8
'08
Fox
Mon.
LSU-Ohio State
15.6
'07
Fox
Mon.
Florida-Ohio State
19.1
         

MEGA POWERS: Across the Megacast on ESPN linear TV networks, the game drew a 16.0 overnight, down from an 18.9 last year. ESPN2, which showed “Film Room,” saw a drop in ratings, as did “Sounds Of The Game” on ESPN Classic. But the “Homer Telecast” on ESPNU and “ESPN Voices” on ESPNews saw increases in ratings. Meanwhile, Alabama-Clemson drew 1.93 million unique viewers on WatchESPN, marking the platform’s best non-FIFA World Cup audience on record (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).

COMING RIGHT AT YOU
: SPORTS ON EARTH's Cy Brown writes the "biggest star" of ESPN's broadcast of last night's CFP finale was the Pylon Cam. The device's "greatness was on display" for Alabama RB Kenyan Drake's dive into the end zone to "cap off a 95-yard kickoff return midway through the fourth quarter." It also "gave a fresh angle on a near-touchdown pass by Clemson, and on Alabama's final score of the game" (SPORTSONEARTH.com, 1/12). Sporting News' Ryan Fagan on Twitter wrote, "How has the pylon cam not been essential part of football coverage for the past decade? It's kind of amazing." ESPN.com's Jake Trotter: "Pylon cam best thing to happen to college football since the playoff." SI's Seth Davis: "This pylon cam is off the chain." The Portland Oregonian's John Canzano: "Big night for the pylon camera." The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Benjamin Hochman: "Pylon Cam, you da real MVP." 

BREAKING DOWN THE FILM: ESPN2 aired the "Film Room" last night as part of Megacast coverage of the game, where several coaches -- North Carolina's Larry Fedora, Pitt's Pat Narduzzi, Florida's Jim McElwain, South Carolina's Will Muschamp and USF's Willie Taggert -- analyzed the action from a coaching perspective. Ravens RB Justin Forsett wrote, "Anybody watching ESPN2? ... I rather watch the game normal but that's interesting." The Louisville Courier-Journal's Jeff Greer: "McElwain, Muschamp and Narduzzi are fascinating on the Film Room broadcast. Way more interesting than the regular broadcast." CBS Sports' Matthew Coca: "If you're not watching this coaches feed you are truly missing out. Narduzzi calls out plays based on RB depth. Great insight." ESPN.com's Andrea Adelson: "To the surprise of no one, Pat Narduzzi rocking the Film Room right now. Jim McElwain brought the jokes." MSG Net's Alan Hahn: "The Film Room ... is addicting. I'd love to see this for an @NBA game." Bleacher Report's Bryan Fischer: "It will never happen, but I would love a ‘Film Room’ telecast of the championship game featuring the CFP committee members."
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