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College Football Playoff Semifinals Ratings Up Double Digits; Both Games See Overnight Increases and Set Streaming Records

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  • Each Game of New Year’s Six Delivers Overnight and Streaming Growth

The College Football Playoff Semifinals (December 31, 2016 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on ESPN and ESPN2) ratings were up double digits from last season, delivered year-over-year overnight growth in both games and set new streaming records.

College Football Playoff Semifinals Increase Overnight and Streaming Audience
The College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl between Washington and Alabama (December 31 at 3 p.m.) delivered a 11.5 overnight (ESPN and ESPN2) and streaming added an additional average minute audience of 470,000 viewers with 1,378,000 unique viewers watching a total of 96,860,000 minutes. The overnight for the Crimson Tide’s 24-7 victory is up 17% from last season’s College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl between Clemson and Oklahoma which also aired on both ESPN and ESPN2 in the afternoon on December 31 (4 p.m.). The streaming audience was up 57%, 16% and 40%, respectively, in average minute audience, unique viewers and total minutes watched from last year’s Tigers-Sooners game.

The College Football Playoff Semifinal at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl between Ohio State and Clemson (December 31 at 7 p.m.) delivered a 10.5 overnight (ESPN and ESPN2) and streaming added an additional average minute audience of 410,000 viewers with 1,174,000 unique viewers watching a total of 86,075,000 minutes. The overnight for the Tigers’ 31-0 lopsided victory is up 5% from last season’s College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic between Michigan State and Alabama which also aired on ESPN and ESPN2 in primetime on December 31 (8 p.m.). The streaming audience also saw increases in all key metrics — up 29%, 12%, and 32% respectively, in average minute audience, unique viewers and total minutes watched — from last year’s Spartans-Crimson Tide game.

Solely on ESPN, both games also saw overnight increases. The Huskies-Crimson Tide overnight earned a 10.9 overnight, up 12% from last year’s first semifinal (9.7) and the Buckeyes-Tigers earned a 10.0 overnight on ESPN, up from last year’s Spartans-Crimson Tide game (9.9).

ESPN Sets New College Football Playoff Streaming Records
The streaming average minute audience for the Peach Bowl and the Fiesta Bowl set new records, as they are the most-streamed College Football Playoff Semifinals ever, which also makes them the most-streamed New Year’s Six and non-Championship college football games ever on ESPN.

College Football Playoff Semifinals: Doubleheader Also Up Year-Over-Year in Overnight and Streaming Audience
Together, the semifinals averaged an 11.0 overnight (ESPN and ESPN2), up 11% from last year’s semifinals on the same two networks. On ESPN alone, the doubleheader averaged a 10.4 overnight, up 6% from last year’s doubleheader (9.8).  The streaming average minute audience for the two games averaged 440,000 viewers, up 41% from last year (313,000 viewers)

New Year’s Six Off to Fast Start
Combined with the Capital One Orange Bowl (December 30), the New Year’s Six is off to a terrific start, averaging an overnight of 9.4 for all three games (ESPN and ESPN2) and a streaming average audience of 370,000 viewers, up 22% and 49%, respectively, to last season’s first three games of the New Year’s Six (December 31), which also included both semifinal games.

Additional College Football Playoff Semifinal Highlights

  • Birmingham and Columbus – Top Markets: Birmingham and Columbus were the top markets for each game, with Birmingham (42.1) leading the way in the Peach Bowl and Columbus (35.1) in the Fiesta Bowl. Top 10 markets for each game:

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

Rank Rating Market
1 42.1 Birmingham
2 23.9 Columbus
3 22.2 Knoxville
4 21.2 Seattle
5 20.5 Atlanta
6 20.4 Greenville
7 19.5 Nashville
8 18.4 Dayton
9 17.4 Cleveland
10 17.0 Memphis

Top markets are ESPN only


PlayStation Fiesta Bowl

Rank Rating Market
1 35.1 Columbus
2 31.3 Birmingham
3 27.9 Greenville
4 27.6 Dayton
5 21. Knoxville
6 20.6 Cleveland
7 18.2 Atlanta
8 17.7 Nashville
9 16.8 Cincinnati
10 15.2 Jacksonville

Top markets are ESPN only

New Year’s Six Continues on Monday, January 2

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic at 1 p.m.
The Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic between No. 15 Western Michigan and No. 8 Wisconsin from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas,  begins a triple-header of premier bowl action. Bob Wischusen, Brock Huard and Allison Williams call the game on ESPN, with Jerry Olaya and Roberto Abramowitz on ESPN Deportes and Brad Sham, Rod Gilmore and Quint Kessenich on ESPN Radio.

The Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual at 5 p.m.
 
The Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual featuring No. 9 USC and No. 5 Penn State from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., at 5 p.m. will be broadcast by Fowler and Herbstreit along with Ponder reporting on the Trojans and Rinaldi on the Nittany Lions. The telecast looks back at great moments in Rose Bowl history, including the 75th anniversary of the 1942 game which was moved to Duke University after the attacks on Pearl Harbor. On ESPN Deportes, Kenny Garay and Alex Pombo will call the game with Dave Pasch, Greg McElroy and Molly McGrath on ESPN Radio.  The Rose Bowl will also be the site of Championship Drive(10 a.m. – 12:50 p.m.) on January 2.

Allstate Sugar Bowl at 8:30 p.m.

The Allstate Sugar Bowl between No. 14 Auburn and No. 7 Oklahoma from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans at 8:30 p.m. will conclude the day. Brent Musburger, Jesse Palmer and Kaylee Hartung will call the game on ESPN between the SEC’s second-highest ranked team and the Big 12 Champions. Lalo Varela and Pablo Viruega are on ESPN Deportes’ telecast with Bill Rosinski, David Norrie and Ian Fitzsimmons on ESPN Radio’s broadcast.
Streaming audience includes multiple feeds, including SkyCam and ESPN Deportes

ESPN2 — aired Command Center production for both semifinals this year; Simulcast ESPN Deportes for last season’s semifinals

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