College Football Week 9: ESPN Up 56% Year-Over-Year on Saturday; ESPN/ABC Deliver the Sport's Highest-Rated Primetime Game for Eighth Consecutive Week
· ESPN/ABC: Aired Three of the Four Highest-Rated Games, Led in Multiple Game Windows
· ESPN: Noon, Late Afternoon, and Primetime Windows All Up Significantly; Seven-Game Slate Delivers Cable's Seven Highest Game Ratings for the Week
College football's week 9 delivered successes across ESPN and ABC, as ESPN's ratings were up 56% for its Saturday slate and ABC aired the highest-rated primetime game, marking the eighth consecutive week that ESPN/ABC aired the sport's highest-rated primetime game. Together, the two networks combined to air three of the four highest-rated games, while ESPN's entire seven-game schedule represented cable's seven highest-rated games in week 9.
ESPN's Collective 56% Ratings Increase on Saturday a Result of Individual Window Successes: Noon, Late Afternoon and Primetime All Up Significantly Year-Over-Year
ESPN's collective 56% ratings increase on Saturday was generated by individual game window successes, with the network's noon, late afternoon and primetime windows all up significantly year-over-year. Iowa at Penn State (3;30 p.m. ET) delivered a 1.8 overnight, cable's highest-rated game in the last afternoon time slot this season and up 157% from the same game window last year. The network's primetime audience was up 63% year-over-year for Texas A&M at Mississippi State (7 p.m.) and its early window audience up 23% for Purdue at Michigan State (noon). The Boilermakers-Spartans game delivered a 1.6 overnight, while the Aggies-Bulldogs earned a 1.3, representing the second and third highest-rated cable games of the week, respectively.
ABC's Saturday Night Football Continues to Lead in Primetime; Network Began Saturday with Sport's Highest-Rated Game in Early Window
ABC'S Saturday Night Football featuring Texas at Oklahoma State (8 p.m.) and Clemson at Florida State (noon) were the highest-rated primetime and noon window games, respectively, on any network for the week. The 2.5 overnight for the Tigers-Seminoles game topped its broadcast competition by 48% in that same window, while also equaling ABC's rating for the same game window last year in week 9. The Longhorns-Cowboys matchup generated a 2.4 overnight, also keeping pace with the network's Saturday Night Football game from the same week last season.
College Football Week 9: ESPN Grows Audience by 50% Year-Over-Year on Saturday, Sets Season High for Late Afternoon Cable Viewership
· ESPN/ABC Air Three of the Four Most-Watched Games of the Week
· ABC's Saturday Night Football Leads the Way in Primetime; ESPN Beats Broadcast Competition in Noon ET Window
ESPN's audience spiked throughout the Saturday of college football's week 9, as the network generated a 50% year-over-year audience increase for its quadruple header, while also setting a new season high cable audience in the late afternoon game window. The audience success continued over on ABC, as the network aired the most-watched primetime game and the most-watched noon ET game. Together, the two networks aired three of the four most-watched games of the week across all networks.
Iowa at Penn State is Cable's Most-Watched Late Afternoon Game this Season
ESPN's successful Saturday was best evidenced in the afternoon as Iowa at Penn State (3:30 p.m. ET) generated cable's largest audience for a late afternoon kickoff this season with a Nielsen total live audience of 3,267,000 viewers. The audience was up an impressive 188% over the similar game window last season.
ABC and ESPN Air Most-Watched Noon ET Games on Any Network
ESPN and ABC's Saturday success started early, as the two networks combined to air the two most-watched noon ET kickoff games on any network, led by ABC's telecast of Clemson at Florida State (noon). The audience for the Tigers' victory generated a total live audience of 3,163,000 viewers, while ESPN's airing of Purdue at Michigan State delivered a Nielsen total live audience of 2,378,000 viewers. The audience for the Spartans' victory was also up 22% year-over-year compared to the similar game window last season.
ABC/ESPN Lead in Primetime for Eighth Straight Week; ESPN Grows Primetime Audience by More than 30%
ABC continued to lead the way in primetime, as Saturday Night Football featuring Texas at Oklahoma State (8 p.m.) generated a total live audience of 3,547,000 viewers, marking the eighth consecutive week that ESPN/ABC aired the most-watched game in primetime on any network. ESPN sustained the network's year-over-year growth in primetime, as Texas A&M at Mississippi State (7 p.m.) generated a Nielsen total live audience of 2,178,000 viewers, up 32% from the similar game window last year.