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College Football Week 7: ABC Televises Most-Watched Game of the Week across All Networks; ESPN Airs Second and Third Most-Viewed, Weekly Viewership up 75% Year-Over-Year

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  • Michigan-Indiana’s Overtime Matchup is Most-Watched Game of the Week
  • ESPN and ESPN2 Set 2017 Viewership Highs; ESPNU Weekly Viewership Up Significantly
  • Season to Date: ESPN/ABC Televised Six Most-Watched Games; ESPN/ESPN2 Top 17 Games on Cable, 38 of 40 Most-Viewed Games

ESPN’s networks college football week 7 viewership set the pace among all networks as ABC televised the most-watched game of the week and ESPN aired the second and third most-viewed games. Overall, the two networks combined to televise seven of the eight most-watched games in week 7.

In addition to individual game superlatives, across the entire slate of games, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU increased its audience significantly from week 7 of last season. ESPN grew its audience in each of its six game windows and, collectively across those six games, its audience was up 75% year over year. ESPN2 and ESPNU were up 78% and 71% respectively across their entire week 7 schedule.

ABC Televises Most-Watched Game For Fourth Consecutive Week; Six of Seven Weeks of Season
Michigan at Indiana (noon ET, ABC) delivered a total live audience of 4,210,000 viewers, the most-viewed game of the week across all networks and the most-watched noon game of the 2017 season across all networks. ESPN’s telecasts of Arkansas at Alabama (7:15 p.m.) and Oklahoma vs. Texas (3:30 p.m.) were the second and third most-watched games of the week across all networks.

ESPN Airs Second Most-Watched Game of the Week Once Again; Leads the Way in Prime Time
The Razorbacks-Crimson Tide game drew a Nielsen total live audience of 3,866,000 viewers, marking the second consecutive week an ESPN telecast was the second most-watched game of the week across all networks. This week, the ESPN telecast was the most-watched in prime-time and now seven weeks into the season, combined with Saturday Night Football, ESPN and ABC have aired the most-watched prime time game in all seven weeks of the season. The audience for the Crimson Tide’s victory was also up 52% year-over-year (Ole Miss at Arkansas)

Red River Showdown: Most-Watched 3:30 p.m. Games Across All Networks; Audience Grows by 30% on ESPN vs. FS1
The Red River Showdown featuring Oklahoma vs. Texas (3:30 p.m.) from Dallas drew 3,619,000 viewers, notably the most-watched game in its timeslot this week and ESPN’s most-watched Saturday afternoon game of the season. On ESPN, the traditional Oklahoma-Texas game was up 277% year-over-year (Wake Forest at Florida State) and was up 30% from last year’s Sooners-Longhorns game which aired on FS1.

ABC’s late afternoon window of Georgia Tech at Miami (3:30 p.m.) and Saturday Night Football featuring Utah at USC (8 p.m.) earned a total live audience of 3,441,000 viewers and 3,236,000 viewers, respectively, each among the most-watched games of the week across all networks

Syracuse’s Upset is Most-Watched Friday Night Game of the Season, Began a Weekend of Season Highs
Clemson at Syracuse (7 p.m., ESPN) is ESPN’s most-watched Friday night telecast of the season, drawing a Nielsen total live audience of 2,853,000 viewers. The Orange’s upset of then-No. 2 Clemson was up 52% from last year’s similar game (Duke at Louisville). Combined with Washington State at Cal, ESPN averaged 2,568,000 for its Friday doubleheader, the most-watched doubleheader in at least the last two years.  The Cougars-Golden Bears matchup on its own drew a Nielsen total live audience of 2,261,000 viewers, up 53% year over year (Mississippi State at BYU). Additional games of note include:

  • Texas A&M at Florida (7 p.m.): ESPN2’s largest viewership of the season, drawing a Nielsen total live audience of 2,112,000 viewers, up 365% year over year (Tulsa vs. Houston).
  • Washington at Arizona State (10:45 p.m., ESPN): The most-watched Saturday final game window (10 p.m. or later) of the season on all cable networks, earning a Nielsen total live audience of 2,277,000 viewers. The Pac-12 game was up 74% over 2016 (UCLA at Washington State).
  • Texas Tech at West Virginia (noon): ESPNU’s second-most watched game in the last two seasons, drawing a total live audience of 875,000 viewers. The Big 12 game was up 174% from the similar game in 2016 (Minnesota at Maryland).
  • South Carolina at Tennessee (noon, ESPN): 2,532,000 viewers, up 43% year-over-year (Kansas State at Oklahoma).

2017 Season Superlatives:

Through the first seven weeks of the season, ESPN’s networks continue to lead the way among all networks. Highlights include:

  • No. 1 in Prime Time: Saturday Night Football and ESPN have combined to air most-watched prime-time game all seven weeks of the season
  • ABC Sets the Pace: ABC has aired the most-watched game of the week in six of the seven weeks
  • ESPN Leads All Cable Nets: ESPN/ESPN2 have televised the 17 most-viewed games on cable; 38 of 40 most-watched games
  • ESPN’s Nets Televise Most-Watched Games: ESPN’s networks have aired the six most-watched games across all networks. Extended out, it has aired eight of the top 10, 12 of top 15 and 15 of top 20

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