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College Football Ratings Roundup: ESPN s CFP Semis Up 4% From 06; Rose Bowl Overnight Up Nearly 0%

04/01/2017

The College Football Playoff Semifinals (December 31, 2016 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.) delivered double-digit total live audience (TV + streaming) growth and increased its television audience in both games compared to last season's semifinals. The College Football Playoff Semifinals averaged a total live audience of 19,728,000 viewers, up 14% from last season's College Football Playoff Semifinal doubleheader on December 31, 2015 (4 p.m. and 8 p.m.) which averaged a total live audience of 17,360,000 viewers.

New Year's Six Up Double Digits, Easily Most-Streamed New Year's Six Ever

ESPN's presentation of the New Year's Six generated an average overnight rating of 7.8 across the six games and streaming added an additional average minute audience of 293,000 viewers with 926,000 unique viewers watching a total of 63,487,000 minutes. The six game overnight average is up 10% from last season's presentation of the same six games and the streaming audience was up 66%, 30%, and 62%, respectively, in average minute audience, unique viewers and total minutes watched. This year's streaming audience is also up 194%, 104%, and 183% from the first year of the New Year's Six (December 3, 2014 January 1, 2015). The TV overnights were down less than 5% from the record-setting inaugural year (8.2 overnight).

ESPN aired two of the three highest-rated non-Semifinal New Year's Six games this year - Rose Bowl and Capital One Orange Bowl (6.7 overnight). Led by the College Football Playoff Semifinals, this year's New Year's Six games account for three of the four most-streamed non-championship games ever for ESPN based on average minute audience. As previously mentioned, this was also easily the most-streamed New Year's Six ever. Birmingham, which was the No. 1 market in four of the New Year's Six games, led the way as the No. 1 local market for the complete New Year's Six. Complete top 10

CFP Semifinals Up 14% From Last Year

The College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl between Washington and Alabama (December 31 at 3 p.m.) delivered a total live audience of 19,814,000 viewers, a 24% increase from last season's College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl between Clemson and Oklahoma (December 31, 2015 at 4 p.m.).

The College Football Playoff Semifinal at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl between Ohio State and Clemson (December 31 at 7 p.m.) delivered a total live audience of 19,646,000 viewers for the lopsided Tigers' 31-0 victory, up 4% from last season's College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic between Michigan State and Alabama (December 31 at 8 p.m.).

On TV only (ESPN and ESPN2), the Peach Bowl averaged 19,344,000 viewers and the Fiesta Bowl averaged 19,236,000 viewers, an increase of 23% and 3%, respectively, from last season's Orange Bowl and Cotton Bowl. Both games set streaming records.

Rose Bowl Rating Up Nearly 20%; Streaming Surpassed One Million Unique Viewers

The Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual between USC and Penn State (January 2 at 5 p.m. ET) generated an overnight rating of 9.4 on ESPN and streaming added an additional average minute audience of 300,000 viewers with 1,103,000 unique viewers watching a total of 75,989,000 minutes, making it by far the best overnight and most-streamed non-semifinal New Year's Six game ever (12 games in three years).

The overnight for the instant-classic was up 19% from last year's Rose Bowl Game (Stanford vs. Iowa) which was played on its traditional January 1 date (5 p.m. on ESPN), while the streaming audience was up 68%, 64%, and 102%, respectively, in average minute audience, unique viewers and total minutes watched. The game peaked at a 12.4 overnight during the final two minutes of the fourth quarter, which included USC's game-winning field goal (9:15 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.).

The City of Brotherly Love earned a 16.7 rating, the highest ever for a bowl game on ESPN (including championship games). L.A. earned a 14.9 overnight and Pittsburgh a 17.0 overnight, the second-highest local market rating for a bowl game on ESPN for both cities (including championship games).

Sugar Bowl Concludes New Year's Six With Overnight Increase, Large Streaming Growth

The Allstate Sugar Bowl between Auburn and Oklahoma (8:30 p.m. on ESPN*) generated an overnight rating of 6.1 and streaming added an additional average minute audience of 198,000 viewers with 732,000 unique viewers watching a total of 43,733,000 minutes. The overnight for the Sooners' victory was up 15% from last year's Sugar Bowl (Oklahoma State vs. Ole Miss) which was played on January 1 (8:30 p.m. on ESPN) while the streaming audience was up 78%, 56%, and 89%, respectively, in average minute audience, unique viewers and total minutes watched.

Cotton Bowl Notches 3.2 Overnight

The Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic between Western Michigan and Wisconsin averaged a 3.2 overnight and streaming added an additional average minute audience of 133,000 viewers with 434,000 unique viewers watching a total of 24,572,000 minutes. The streaming average minute audience was up 55% compared to the 2014 Cotton Bowl.
LINK: http://www.sportsvideo.org/2017/01/03/ratings-roundup-espns-cfp-semis-...
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