Update: the final household rating was adjusted down to 18.2, but that’s still a cable record, as is the 33.4 million viewers the telecast averaged. Including Megacast channels measured by Nielsen, viewership climbed to 34.148 million.
Ohio State’s victory over Oregon in the first ever CFP Championship garnered a 18.5 overnight rating on ESPN, 21% above 2014’s BCS championship and ahead by similar margins of the overnights for the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl which had a 15.5 and 15.3 household rating respectively (adjusted to 14.8 and 15.2 respectively in the final numbers). Ratings wise, ESPN’s previous record was for the 2011 BCS Championship that netted a 16.1 household rating.
When the Megacast on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, & ESPNEWS is included the rating bumps up to an 18.9.
The final rating looks to be well shy of the 2006 Rose Bowl on ABC which earned a 21.7 household rating and 35.6 million viewers in final numbers.
Per ESPN “In the primary home markets of the two schools, the telecast delivered a 51.2 in Columbus, the No. 1 overall market, and a 37.6 in Portland, Ore., good for fourth overall.”
Viewership numbers should be available later today.
Overnight household rating = the live+same day DVR overnight metered-market household rating from the top 56 Nielsen television markets. The 56 markets (out of 210 total) account for about 70% of the US TV-viewing population. The overnight household rating is the percentage of the households that were tuned-in in those markets. The share is the percentage of the households that were watching TV at the time.
Example: a 21 household rating with a 40% share means that on average 21% of all the households (in those 56 markets) were tuned-in and that 40% of the households watching TV at the time were tuned-in.
Final national numbers work the same way but all 210 markets are included in the measurement.
Update: here’s the press release from ESPN:
Oregon-Ohio State Delivers 18.5 Metered Market Rating
Monday night’s inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T (8:30 p.m. – midnight ET) — Ohio State’s 42-20 victory over Oregon at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas – generated a 18.5 overnight rating, the highest metered market ever for ESPN according to Nielsen. Last night’s National Championship game was a 21% increase over the 2014 BCS National Championship on ESPN (Florida State vs. Auburn, 15.3). Also, the final game of the new College Football Playoff format surpassed the 16.1 overnight rating for the 2011 BCS National Championship (Auburn vs. Oregon) which held the previous best in cable history.
The Oregon-Ohio State game rating peaked from 9:30 p.m-9:45 p.m. with a 20.5 metered market rating.
In the primary home markets of the two schools, the telecast delivered a 51.2 in Columbus, the No. 1 overall market, and a 37.6 in Portland, Ore., good for fourth overall. The top 10 metered markets (in addition to those of the competing teams) are the following: Columbus, Dayton (43.8), Cleveland (41.3), Portland, Birmingham (36.1), Cincinnati (26.5), Jacksonville (25.7), Knoxville (25.5), Greenville (24.1) and Atlanta (23.0).
Additionally, the National Championship set overnight post season college football records in 22 different markets in the following cities: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Dayton, Denver, Ft. Myers, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Norfolk, Philadelphia, Portland, Raleigh-Durham, Richmond, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.
College Football Playoff “Megacast”
In addition to the traditional telecast, ESPN offered more than 12 ways to watch last night’s championship game through the “CFP Megacast.” ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, and ESPNEWS combined to average 18.9 metered market average, up 20% (15.7) from the 2014 BCS Megascast.
Final ratings and additional details on the “CFP MegaCast” will be made available this afternoon.