Undefeated Notre Dame Delivers Highest Ratings For NBC's Coverage Since '05
NBC averaged a 2.8 rating and 4.4 million viewers for its seven Notre Dame home football games this season, marking the net’s best Notre Dame package since '05. NBC was also up 69% and 67%, respectively, from a 1.7 rating and 2.6 million viewers last season, which marked the net’s lowest Notre Dame package since it acquired rights in '91. The net’s best Notre Dame audience this season was the Sept. 22 game against Michigan (6.4 million viewers). That also marked NBC’s best ND game viewership since '05. Three Notre Dame games averaged over 5.0 million viewers this season, compared to zero last season (Austin Karp, THE DAILY). Notre Dame will clinch a spot in the BCS Championship game with a win against USC on Saturday, and in Indianapolis, Anthony Schoettle noted the school's "massive following ... is expected to push TV viewership to a high water mark" for the title game. Should Notre Dame meet current No. 2-ranked Alabama in the championship game, broadcast experts believe "more than 25 million households could tune in." That would "mean a 25-plus rating, which is higher than the record 21.7 rating" for the '06 Texas-USC title game (IBJ.com, 11/19).
FEELING GREEN: ESPN’s Darren Rovell reported with Notre Dame currently the top-ranked team in the BCS standings, things "are greener than ever before for the Fighting Irish -- green as in money.” TiqIQ noted tickets for the BCS title game jumped from $1,829 last week to $2,201 on Tuesday with Notre Dame "in the driver’s seat.” Meanwhile, oddsmaker Jimmy Vaccaro indicated that a potential Alabama-Notre Dame championship game “will be the most-bet game in college football history” (“Money Talk,” ESPN.com, 11/19).