(Updated) Alabama-Clemson CFP Championship draws 26.2 million viewers

 

Update: ESPN says the game averaged 26.2 million viewers across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN News, ESPNU and ESPN Deportes with the mothership accounting for 25.7 million of it. More details on viewership via ESPN can be found here.

Alabama’s win over Clemson in the 2nd CFP Championship earned a 15.8 overnight rating on ESPN per Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand and a combined 16.0 overnight including Megacasts on ESPN2, ESPN News and ESPNU. That’s down 14.6% versus the 18.5 overnight garnered for the inaugural Ohio State vs Oregon CFP Championship game a year ago on ESPN when the combined w/MegaCast rating was an 18.9.

Given that the game was close deep into the fourth quarter it’ll be difficult for CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock to play the “game was a blowout” CFP ratings excuse bingo square as he did with the CFP Semifinals. But the “last year there was a bigger curiosity factor because it was the first CFP championship” square is still in play (at least somewhat accurately, in my opinion).

Update: here’s the full ESPN press release:

College Football Playoff National Championship: ESPN’s Third Highest Overnight Ever across All Sports; WatchESPN Sets New Records

  • Birmingham No. 1 Local Market; Six Markets Set Local Rating Records
  • College Football Playoff Format Thrives on Digital

ESPN’s Megacast presentation of the College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T on January 11, 2016 – an Alabama 45-40 victory over Clemson – delivered a 16.0 overnight rating, ESPN’s third-best overnight for any game, ever, across all sports. Among the six national championship games ESPN has televised, last night’s CFP National Championship scored a higher overnight than the final three BCS National Championships (2011, 2012, 2013 seasons), and trails only last year’s inaugural CFP National Championship and ESPN’s first ever national championship game (2010 season).

Additional Television Highlights:

  • Birmingham was the No. 1 local market, earning a 59.2 overnight, the market’s third best overnight for a post season college football game on ESPN. Greenville was the second highest local market, achieving a 39.0, the market’s best overnight ever for a post season college football game on ESPN.
  • Including Greenville, six markets set a new ESPN post season college football record high: Atlanta (30.1), Charlotte (22.8), Nashville (29.1), Raleigh-Durham (20.2) and Norfolk (18.4)
  • The top 10 metered markets: Birmingham (59.2), Greenville (39.0), Atlanta (30.1), Nashville (29.1), Knoxville (28.4), New Orleans (25.6), Jacksonville (24.8), Columbus (23.0), Charlotte (22.8) and West Palm Beach (20.3).

Alabama-Clemson Sets New WatchESPN Records
Digitally, Alabama-Clemson — presented on multiple streams on WatchESPN through the ESPN Megacast — ranked as the best game ever on WatchESPN across all major metrics, excluding the 2014 FIFA World Cup

Additionally, the two CFP National Championship games (Ohio State vs. Oregon and Alabama vs. Clemson) represent WatchESPN’s two most-streamed games ever on WatchESPN across all major metrics, excluding the 2014 FIFA World Cup.  Last night’s game experienced a 23% increase in average minute impressions, 38% in unique viewers, and 32% in total minutes compared to the inaugural CFP National Championship:

RankAverage Minute ImpressionsGameDate
1585,000CFP National Championship: Alabama vs. ClemsonJan 11, 2016
2475,000CFP National Championship: Ohio State vs. OregonJan 12, 2015
RankUnique ViewersGameDate
11,934,000CFP National Championship: Alabama vs. ClemsonJan 11, 2016
21,406,000CFP National Championship: Ohio State vs. OregonJan 12, 2015
RankTotal MinutesGameDate
1140,300,000CFP National Championship: Alabama vs. ClemsonJan 11, 2016
2106,300,000CFP National Championship: Ohio State vs. OregonJan 12, 2015

Also, the first two years of the CFP format (six total games) has resulted in WatchESPN’s six most-streamed college football games, in terms of unique viewers:

RankUnique ViewersGameDate
11,934,000CFP National Championship: Alabama vs. ClemsonJan 11, 2016
21,406,000CFP National Championship: Ohio State vs. OregonJan 12, 2015
31,188,000College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl: Oklahoma vs. ClemsonDec 31, 2015
41,047,000College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl: Michigan State vs. AlabamaDec 31, 2015
5912,000College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl: Ohio State vs. AlabamaJan 1, 2015
6816,000College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl: Oregon vs. Florida StateJan 1, 2015


ESPN Megacast: Overnight rating only accounts for ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU as SEC Network, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic and ESPN Goal Line are not Nielsen rated networks.

 

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.

Leave a Reply