The ratings carnage over this year’s College Football Playoffs semifinals is well documented at this point. It’s fine for the CFP folks to hope to make a new football day/night in America, but New Year’s Eve? C’mon, man!
Worse, even after the results were in CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock had the stones to say that he’s not sure how big a factor the New Year’s Eve scheduling was in the semifinal ratings declines. C’mon, man!
But all is not lost since at least the CFP Championship game shouldn’t wreck anyone’s plans. Hopefully it will be a great game. It will be interesting to to try to ferret out next week what role, if any, the lower ratings for the semifinals have on the championship game’s numbers.
Update: SBJ’s Austin Karp notes that the 1991 Citrus Bowl winner Georgia Tech won a share of that year’s National Championship (Georgia Tech was #1 in the UPI poll). Sadly, I couldn’t dig up viewership for that game but it drew a 9.7/21 household rating share. By comparison, the Orange Bowl that year (which is in the table below) drew an 18.3/30.
College Football Championship Viewership 1991-2015
|2016||CFP||ESPN*||Alabama vs. Clemson|
|2015||CFP||ESPN*||34.1||Ohio State vs. Oregon|
|2014||BCS||ESPN*||26.1||Auburn vs. Florida State|
|2013||BCS||ESPN||26.4||Notre Dame vs. Alabama|
|2012||BCS||ESPN||24.2||LSU vs. Alabama|
|2011||BCS||ESPN||27.3||Oregon vs. Auburn|
|2010||BCS||ABC||30.8||Texas vs. Alabama|
|2009||BCS||FOX||26.8||Florida vs Oklahoma|
|2008||BCS||FOX||23.1||LSU vs. Ohio State|
|2007||BCS||FOX||28.8||Florida vs. Ohio State|
|2006||Rose||ABC||35.6||Texas vs. USC|
|2005||Orange||ABC||21.4||USC vs. Oklahoma|
|2004||Sugar||ABC||23.9||LSU vs. Oklahoma|
|2003||Fiesta||ABC||29.1||Ohio State vs. Miami|
|2002||Rose||ABC||21.6||Miami (Florida) vs Nebraska|
|2001||Orange||ABC||27.2||Oklahoma vs. Florida State|
|2000||Sugar||ABC||27.0||Florida State vs Virginia Tech|
|1999||Fiesta||ABC||26.1||Tennessee vs Florida State|
|1998||Rose||ABC||29.0||Michigan vs Washington State|
|1997||Sugar||ABC||25.7||Florida vs Florida State|
|1996||Fiesta||CBS||27.9||Nebraska vs Florida|
|1995||Orange||NBC||30.0||Nebraska vs Miami (Florida)|
|1994||Orange||NBC||28.8||Florida State vs Nebraska|
|1993||Sugar||ABC||30.1||Alabama vs Miami (Florida)|
|1992||Orange||NBC||16.6||Miami (Florida) vs Nebraska|
|1991||Orange||NBC||29.6||Colorado vs Notre Dame|
*includes megacast simulcasts on other ESPN networks