Orange Bowl Draws Lowest Rating For BCS Bowl Since System Debuted In '99
ESPN’s broadcast of the Discover Orange Bowl last Wednesday night, as expected, was officially the lowest-rated BCS game since the current postseason system debuted in '99. The game, which saw West Virginia rout Clemson 70-33, earned a 4.5 U.S. rating and drew an average of 7.2 million viewers, down 45% from an 8.2 rating and 13.6 million viewers for the comparable Ohio State-Arkansas Allstate Sugar Bowl in '11. The game is also the lowest-rated Orange Bowl since the '93 edition that aired opposite the Alabama-Miami Sugar Bowl that determined the national championship. The four BCS games this year have averaged a 7.3 rating and 12.0 million viewers, down 10% in the ratings from an 8.1 last year and down 21% from a 9.2 rating for Fox' three BCS games in '10. The Rose Bowl aired on ABC that year (THE DAILY).
MUSBURGER SELLS TITLE GAME: ESPN's Brent Musburger discussed tonight's LSU-Alabama matchup in the BCS National Championship game and said, "I think the buildup and first quarter of our game would have been more interesting with Oklahoma State against LSU than having two teams that have already played." He continued, "But I think our fourth quarter is going to be more interesting with Alabama, given a second chance here against LSU. But we are going to do the game regardless of who was in it." Musburger added, "I understand anyone who wants to say: I saw that movie. It was the Field Goal Battle of the Century and I don't want to see it again. But I think it will be a little bit [different] this time, and we will have some touchdowns scored" (SI.com, 1/6). USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand notes Musburger "figures that besides SEC devotees ... viewers will tune in to see what he figures could be nine defensive players who'll become first-round NFL draft picks." Musburger said, "A lot of our audience will be watching to see future NFL guys" (USA TODAY, 1/9).