via ESPN release:
College Football: Record Audience for Iron Bowl Leads ESPN to its Most-Viewed Regular-Season Saturday
- Auburn at Alabama Season’s Most-Viewed Game
- ABC Overall Audience Growth Led by Most-Viewed Weekly Prime Series Saturday Night Football
- Significant Viewership Increases for ESPN Saturday Nights
- Saturday Night Winners
ESPN’s nearly 15 consecutive hours of college football studio and game content on Saturday, Nov. 29 – beginning at 9 a.m. ET with College GameDay Built by The Home Depot and concluding with its most-viewed regular-season game on record (since 1990) for Alabama’s victory over Auburn – averaged 6,266,000 viewers and a 3.6 HH US rating, helping to make it the network’s most-viewed Saturday ever during the regular-season (August to December).
Total day programming on ESPN (6 a.m. November 29 to 6 a.m. November 30) averaged 4,416,000 viewers and a 2.6 HH US rating, setting a network record for a Saturday between August and December. The previous high for consecutive college football content (5,557,000 viewers) and 24-hour day-part (3,314,000 viewers) was set on September 7 of last season.
Iron Bowl Generates ESPN and WatchESPN Audience Records
Saturday’s prime time coverage of Alabama’s victory over Auburn on November 29 generated television and digital audience records for ESPN and WatchESPN. ESPN’s telecast averaged 13,529,000 viewers and a 7.4 HH US rating, making it the network’s most-viewed regular-season college football game on record (since 1990), surpassing USC at Ohio State in 2009 (10,586,000 viewers and a 6.3 HH US rating).
The game also garnered 475,000 unique viewers and an average minute audience of 119,000 people on WatchESPN, product records for regular-season action. Overall, 2014 has produced the 10 largest average minute audiences for regular-season college football games ever.
ABC Overall Audience Growth Led by Most-Viewed Weekly Prime Series Saturday Night Football
The significant audiences who have tuned into ESPN’s weekly Saturday Night Football on ABC – making it the most-viewed and highest-rated weekly prime time college football series on television – has led the network to post a viewership increase for overall game coverage over 2013. Overall, 33 windows on ABC is averaging 4,993,000 viewers and a 3.1 rating for increases of 6 percent (vs. 4,693,000) and 7 percent (vs. 2.9), respectively. The weekly prime time series that features multiple conferences throughout the season – concluding on December 6 with the 2014 Dr Pepper ACC Championship Game matching undefeated No. 4 Florida State vs. Coastal Division champion No. 11 Georgia Tech at 8 p.m. – is averaging 5,896,000 viewers and a 3.6 rating.
Significant Viewership Increases for ESPN Saturday Nights
In addition to the weekly ABC telecast, ESPN’s Saturday night games are generating larger audiences than through the same point in 2013, averaging 4,566,000 viewers for a 23 percent increase vs. 3,708,000).
Winning Saturday Nights
Saturday night college football telecasts helped ABC or ESPN to be top network of the night across cable and broadcast networks among all key demographics (Men and Persons 18-34, 18-49, and 25-54) on 11 of the season’s 14 Saturdays and total viewers on eight of them.