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More than 26 Million Viewers Watched the College Football Playoff National Championship

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  • CFP National Championship: Most-Viewed Telecast Across All Cable Networks Since Last Season’s National Championship; Rematch Nearly Matches Audience from 2016 Tigers-Crimson Tide National Championship Matchup
  • ESPN Experiences Audience Gains for College Football Playoff; New Year’s Six Plus National Championship Average Viewership Up Double Digits

The College Football Playoff National Championship between Clemson and Alabama (January 9 at 8 p.m. ET) delivered a total live audience across the multi-network MegaCast (TV feeds + streaming) of 26,029,000 viewers, the most-watched event carried on a cable network since the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship (January 11, 2016) between the same two teams (26,709,000 viewers).

The College Football Playoff three-game (semifinals + national championship) total live audience average was 22,230,000 viewers, up 9% from last season’s same three game total live audience average (20,331,000 viewers). Factoring in the entire New Year’s Six, the seven games (New Year’s Six + national championship) averaged a total live audience of 16,044,000 viewers, up 15% from last season’s seven game total live audience average (14,004,000 viewers).

College Football Playoff Dominates Cable’s Most-Watched List
On just ESPN, the Tigers-Crimson Tide’s TV viewership drew 24,391,000 viewers, the eighth most-watched cable telecast of all time. Overall, ESPN has televised the nine most-watched cable telecasts ever, with the College Football Playoff holding each of the top 3 spots (2015 National Championship and both 2015 Semifinals), as well as No. 6 (2016 National Championship) and No. 8.

Total live audience for 2017 and 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship includes TV viewership from ESPN’s Nielsen-rated networks (ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU) and streaming feeds which were part of the MegaCast. SEC Network, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic and ESPN Goal Line are not rated and thus not included.

ESPN has aired a MegaCast for all three years of the College Football Playoff National Championship.

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Media contact: Derek Volner at 860-384-9986; [email protected] and @DerekVolner