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ABC’S Saturday Night Football: Michigan State at Michigan is Highest-Rated Game of Week 6 Across All Networks

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  • SNF Beats Fox by 179% in Prime Time, Grows Year-Over-Year Audience
  • Detroit Earns Second Best Local Rating on Record for the Spartans-Wolverines Matchup on ESPN/ABC
  • Alabama at Texas A&M: ESPN’s Highest-Rated Saturday Game in 2017 Season

ABC’s Saturday Night Football featuring Michigan State at Michigan (7:30 p.m. ET) earned a 3.9 Nielsen overnight, the highest-rated college football game of week 6 across all networks. The overnight for the Big Ten rivalry game was 179% higher than Fox’s prime time game and 95% and 86%, respectively, higher than Fox’s afternoon games, while also earning a 44% better rating than CBS.

For the sixth time in the six weeks of the college football season, Saturday Night Football will be the most-watched prime time game of the week when viewership is reported on Tuesday. Additional highlights:

  • SNF Ratings Grow: The Spartans’ 14-10 victory is up 22% from last year’s Saturday Night Football Now, six weeks into the season, the franchise has seen year-over-year increases in five of those weeks.

 

  • Michigan’s Last Minute Drive Peaks Ratings: As Michigan drove for a potential game-winning touchdown, the rating peaked for the game at a 5.5 overnight (11-11:15 p.m.)
  • Detroit Tunes In: Detroit was the No. 1 local market, with an impressive 28.4 rating. The local number is the market’s second best on record for a Michigan State-Michigan matchup on an ESPN network, trailing only the 2013 matchup (29.2) The complete top 5 local markets for the 2017 game are as followed:
Rank Rating Market
1 28.4 Detroit
2 16.1 Columbus
3 9.2 Dayton
4 6.1 Cincinnati
5 6.0 Cleveland

ESPN Leads the Way on Cable; Alabama-Texas A&M Ties as Second Highest Game Across All Networks
Alabama at Texas A&M (7:15 p.m.) drew a 2.7 Nielsen overnight, tying as both the second-highest overnight of the week across all networks and as the best overnight for an SEC game in week 6. The overnight for the Crimson Tide victory outdrew all seven games on Fox Sports networks in week 6 and was ESPN’s best overnight for a Saturday game this season (22 games). The matchup was also up 13% from last year’s similar game, which featured Alabama at Arkansas.

Led by the Crimson Tide-Aggies, all four games that aired on ESPN on Saturday were the highest-rated cable games of week 6. Miami at FSU (3:30 p.m. on ESPN), earned a 2.0 Nielsen rating for the game and peaked at a 3.9 Nielsen overnight as the Hurricanes were driving and scored the game winning touchdown (7:15 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.). Georgia vs. Vanderbilt (noon on ESPN) earned a 1.3 overnight, up 30% from last year’s similar game (Auburn vs. Mississippi State) and Cal vs. Washington earned a 1.1 overnight, flat with last year’s same game (Washington State vs. Stanford).

ESPN announced a new reporting system, which began on Sept. 25. More details are here.
Local ratings date back to 2001

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