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

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  • 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).
  • The traditional telecast on ESPN earned a 15.8 overnight rating

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:

Rank Average Minute Impressions Game Date
1 585,000 CFP National Championship: Alabama vs. Clemson Jan 11, 2016
2 475,000 CFP National Championship: Ohio State vs. Oregon Jan 12, 2015

 

Rank Unique Viewers Game Date
1 1,934,000 CFP National Championship: Alabama vs. Clemson Jan 11, 2016
2 1,406,000 CFP National Championship: Ohio State vs. Oregon Jan 12, 2015

 

Rank Total Minutes Game Date
1 140,300,000 CFP National Championship: Alabama vs. Clemson Jan 11, 2016
2 106,300,000 CFP National Championship: Ohio State vs. Oregon Jan 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:

Rank Unique Viewers Game Date
1 1,934,000 CFP National Championship: Alabama vs. Clemson Jan 11, 2016
2 1,406,000 CFP National Championship: Ohio State vs. Oregon Jan 12, 2015
3 1,188,000 College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Clemson Dec 31, 2015
4 1,047,000 College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl: Michigan State vs. Alabama Dec 31, 2015
5 912,000 College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl: Ohio State vs. Alabama Jan 1, 2015
6 816,000 College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl: Oregon vs. Florida State Jan 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.

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Media contact: Derek Volner at 860-384-9986; Derek.Volner@ESPN.com and @DerekVolner