ABC Sees Ratings Drop For College Football Saturday Night, But 3:30pm Window Up Big
ABC’s two college football broadcasts led all windows during the opening weekend of the '14 season. Florida State's 37-31 win over Oklahoma State earned a 4.1 overnight rating on Saturday evening, down 16% from a 4.9 rating for Georgia-Clemson in the same slot last year and down 13% from a 4.7 rating for Michigan-Alabama in ’12. ABC also drew a 4.1 overnight for its 3:30pm ET regionalized window, which featured West Virginia-Alabama. That figure is up 86% from a 2.2 rating last year for a window featuring Mississippi State-Oklahoma State and Syracuse-Penn State. The net also drew a 2.2 overnight in '12 for a window featuring Southern Miss-Nebraska and Miami-Boston College. ESPN’s top game over Labor Day weekend was a 2.7 overnight for last night's Miami-Louisville game, which is down 10% from a 3.0 rating for Florida State-Pittsburgh last year and down 7% from a 2.9 for Georgia Tech-Virginia Tech in '12. Meanwhile, Fox drew a 0.9 overnight for USC’s blowout win over Fresno State on Saturday night. The net did not have an opener on Labor Day weekend last year, but drew a 1.4 overnight for Hawaii-USC in ‘12. NBC drew a 1.4 for the Rice-Notre Dame game on Saturday afternoon, down from a 1.6 for the comparable Temple-Notre Dame game last year (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).OFF TO A GOOD START: SI.com's Richard Deitsch wrote he "really liked" Thursday's edition of SEC Network's "SEC Nation" prior to Texas A&M-South Carolina. That was especially true for the "pacing and images headed up by producer Joe Disney and the chemistry between host Joe Tessitore and panelists Paul Finebaum, Marcus Spears and Tim Tebow" (SI.com, 9/1). In Alabama, James Crepea noted the "early assessment" of "SEC Nation" is positive, with ESPN Senior VP/College Networks Justin Connolly "liking several of the segments during the show." Tebow, who wanted to "make sure he wasn't 'too harsh' during the segment on Vanderbilt's uniforms," is "nothing if not genuine." However, his "maturation in translating his personality into being a credible television personality is still very much a work in progress." Meanwhile, in an "early test of the differences" between "SEC Nation" and "College GameDay," ESPN's show "handled Penn State's last-second field goal to beat UCF flawlessly." "SEC Nation" did not mention the game-winning kick, though a "'Final Alert' did appear on the scroll of scores" (MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER, 9/1).
KEEP IT SIMPLE: In N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes when NBC's Mike Mayock "speaks football in plain English rather than genuine pigskin gibberish, he can be a good listen," and he was "pretty good" during the net's Rice-Notre Dame game Saturday. He had a "few slips," but he "seemed more eager to inform us rather than dazzle our razzle" (N.Y. POST, 9/2).
CALLED FOR A PENALTY: In Oklahoma City, Mel Bracht reported the Univ. of Oklahoma during Saturday's game against Louisiana Tech "sent out a Tweet noting that refunds would be given for viewers who had trouble watching the webcast on SoonerSports TV." FS Oklahoma PR Dir Ramon Alvarez said the issues "affected only a small number of users." He added that the PPV broadcast "was not affected" (OKLAHOMAN, 9/1).