2022 College Football Playoff Semifinals on ESPN Score Most-Watched Non-New Year's Day Semifinals of CFP Era with 22.1 Million Viewers
· Third-Most Watched Semifinals and Best in Past Five Years
· Two Best Individual Semifinals Since 2017-18, Fourth and Fifth Best Ever
· Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Becomes Most-Watched Primetime CFP Semifinal Since Year 1, Top 20 Cable Telecast on Record
· Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Secures Highest Share of Any CFP Semifinal or Championship
· Most-Watched New Year's Six in Three Years
The 2022 College Football Playoff Semifinals delivered a bevy of record-breaking viewership and history-making moments, securing the most-watched non-New Year's Day Semifinals on record now with final Nielsen viewership figures. Across both of ESPN's MegaCast presentations, the two games averaged 22.1 million viewers and 7.6 million P18-49 viewers on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU. The audience is the best in the past five years and becomes the third-most watched Semifinals in the CFP era.
The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and Vrbo Fiesta Bowl are the two most-viewed individual Semifinals since the 2017-18 season and now rank as the fourth and fifth best, respectively. Both games are among the top five non-NFL telecasts on broadcast or cable since the start of 2022, and reached more than 42 million total viewers between them, 11 percent year-over-year growth. The audience finished up 30 percent among P2+ viewers and 29 percent among P18-49 viewers over 2021. The pair of Semifinal games attracted a 34.4 P2+ and 46.8 P18-49 share across the two games, the highest for both demos in the CFP era.
The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl secured 22.4 million viewers, the most-watched primetime CFP Semifinal since Year 1 and a top 20 cable telecast of all time. It's the best non-NFL telecast across broadcast or cable since last year's CFP National Championship, and peaked just before halftime (9:45-10 p.m. ET) with 24.3 million viewers. It notched 7.9 million P18-49 viewers as Georgia clinched its spot in the program's second consecutive national title game.
The Vrbo Fiesta Bowl scored 21.7 million viewers to become the third-most watched afternoon CFP Semifinal of the CFP era. The Michigan-TCU matchup peaked with 26.9 million viewers as TCU upset Michigan in the game's closing minutes. The Big Ten-Big 12 battle brought in 7.3 million P18-49 viewers, and half of all P18-49 viewers watching television during this game were tuned into the action. With a 36.1 P2+ share and 50.3 P18-49 share, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl registered the highest share of any CFP Semifinal or Championship on record.
Additional New Year's Six Superlatives:
· The 2022-23 New Year's Six averaged nearly 13 million viewers across all six games, up year-over-year and the most-watched New Year's Six in three years.
· The Sugar Bowl between Alabama and Kansas State drew 9.1 million viewers and 3.0 million P18-49 viewers, the best audience for a noon game leading into the CFP Semifinals on record.
· Friday's Orange Bowl between Tennessee and Clemson averaged 8.7 million viewers and 2.6 million P18-49 viewers on ESPN and ESPNU, the most-watched non-Semifinal Orange Bowl since 2017 (Wisconsin/Miami) and the best standalone weekday New Year's Six in primetime since 2017 (Cotton Bowl - USC/Ohio State). The audience for the window was up 14 percent year-over-year.
Date New Year's Six Bowl Game P2+ Viewers Platform
Dec. 31 College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl 22,446,000 ESPN
Dec. 31 College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl 21,701,000 ESPN
Jan. 2 Rose Bowl Game Presented by Prudential 10,187,000 ESPN
Dec. 31 Allstate Sugar Bowl 9,135,000 ESPN
Dec. 30 Capital One Orange Bowl 8,689,000 ESPN
Jan. 2 Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic 4,165,000 ESPN
Additional Holiday Week Highlights:
· TaxSlayer Gator Bowl (Notre Dame/South Carolina): 5.8M viewers (best since Jan. 2016)
o Most-watched non-NY6 bowl game on ESPN since 2015-16 season (Jan. 2016)
· Cheez-It Bowl (Oklahoma/Florida State): 5.4M viewers (best since Dec. 2013)
· Valero Alamo Bowl (Texas/Washington): 4.8M viewers (best since Dec. 2019)
· AutoZone Liberty Bowl (Kansas/Arkansas): 3.9M viewers (second-best since Jan. 2016)
· Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl (Wake Forest/Missouri): 3.5M viewers (best since Dec. 2008)
Most-Watched Non-NY6 Bowls on ESPN Platforms Through Dec. 31
Date Bowl Game P2+ Viewers Platform
Dec. 30 TaxSlayer Gator Bowl 5,766,000 ESPN
Dec. 29 Cheez-It Bowl 5,396,000 ESPN
Dec. 29 Valero Alamo Bowl 4,779,000 ESPN
Dec. 28 AutoZone Liberty Bowl 3,914,000 ESPN
Dec. 23 Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl 3,539,000 ESPN
Dec. 31 TransPerfect Music City Bowl 2,996,000 ABC
Dec. 29 Bad Boy Mowers Pinstripe Bowl 2,749,000 ESPN
Dec. 30 Duke's Mayo Bowl 2,676,000 ESPN
Dec. 27 TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl 2,620,000 ESPN
Dec. 28 TaxAct Texas Bowl 2,601,000 ESPN
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