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Michigan at Ohio State: Massive 10.4 Overnight is Best for a College Football Game This Season across all Networks; ESPN’s Most-Streamed Regular Season College Football Game Ever


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  • Best Noon Kickoff on Record Across All Networks; ABC’s Second Highest Regular Season College Football Overnight on Record
  • ESPN’s Stream Surpasses One Million Unique Viewers for a Regular Season College Football Game for the First Time

ABC’s telecast of Michigan at Ohio State (noon ET) earned a massive 10.4 overnight and ESPN’s stream added an additional 279,000 viewers in the average minute with a total of 1,273,000 unique viewers watching 69,661,000 minutes making this year’s Wolverines-Buckeyes overnight rating easily the best for a college football regular season game this season across all networks and ESPN’s most-streamed regular season college football game ever in all three metrics.

Best Noon Overnight on Record; ABC’s Second Highest Regular Season College Football Overnight on Record
This year’s Wolverine-Buckeye matchup is the best overnight for a noon kickoff college football game on record across all networks and is ABC’s second best overnight on record, trailing only the  2006 edition of the Wolverines-Buckeyes game — when the teams were ranked No.2 and No. 1 respectively, — which earned an 11.5 overnight.

ESPN’s Streaming Sets New Regular Season Records in Multiple Categories
ESPN’s stream of the game becomes the first regular season game to surpass one million unique users and 60 million minutes watched. The impressive average minute audience is the third for ESPN to surpass an average minute audience of 200,000 viewers for a college football game this season, joining Ole Miss at Florida State (231,000 viewers) and Louisville at Clemson (200,000 viewers).

ABC/ESPN Sets Pace for Top Overnights of the 2016 Season

ABC has aired the top two overnights of the 2016 season and four of the top 5. Combined with ESPN, the networks have aired 7 of the top 10 overnights this season:

Rank Overnight Game Date Network Time (ET)
1 10.4 Michigan at Ohio State Saturday, Nov. 26 ABC Noon
2 7.0 Notre Dame at Texas Sunday, Sept. 4 ABC 7:30 p.m.
3 6.0 Louisville at Clemson Saturday, Oct. 1 ABC 8 p.m.
6.0 Alabama at LSU Saturday, Nov. 5 CBS 8 p.m.
5 5.6 Ohio State at Wisconsin Saturday, Oct. 15 ABC 8 p.m.
6 5.4 Alabama at Ole Miss Saturday, Sept. 17 CBS 3:30 p.m.
5.4 Texas A&M at Alabama Saturday, Oct. 22 CBS 3:30 p.m.
8 5.3 Ole Miss vs. Florida State Monday, Sept. 5 ESPN 8 p.m.
9 4.9 USC vs. Alabama Saturday, Sept. 3 ABC 8 p.m.
4.9 LSU vs. Wisconsin Saturday, Sept. 3 ABC 3:30 p.m.


Additional Wolverine-Buckeye Highlights:

  • Significant Audience Growth: The overnight was up 53% from last year’s Ohio State at Michigan game (November 28, 2015 at noon on ABC) The streaming audience was up 134%, 180%, 179% in average minute audience, unique viewers and total minutes watched, respectively, to last year’s Buckeyes-Wolverines game.
  • Peak Audience: ABC’s audience peaked with a 12.7 rating (3:45 p.m. – 4 p.m. ET) as the Buckeyes-Wolverines battled in overtime.
  • Local Markets: Columbus was the No. 1 market with 43.6 local rating, followed by Dayton (36.8) and Detroit (30.8). The local rating in Detroit is second highest ever for a regular season college football game on any ESPN network. The complete top 10 markets:
Rank Market Local Rating
1 Columbus 43.6
2 Dayton 36.8
3 Detroit 30.8
4 Cleveland 30.1
5 Cincinnati 20.5
6 Ft. Myers 16.9
7 Birmingham 16.7
8 Oklahoma City 14.1
9 Knoxville 13.2
West Palm Beach 13.2

Watch Again On ESPNU
ESPNU will reair Saturday’s Wolverine- Buckeye game on Monday, Nov. 28, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.  and Tuesday, Nov. 29, from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. Game is available on demand via WatchESPN here.

*Overnight data exists back to 2004 for ABC; 2005 for CBS and NBC



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