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College Football

Oklahoma-Ohio State: More than 8.2 Million Viewers, Most-Watched Game of Week 2 across all Networks; ESPN’s Networks Air Four of Five Most-Watched Games


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  • ABC and ESPN Both Up Year-Over-Year 
  • ESPN’s Prime-Time Game — Auburn at Clemson — Outdraws Fox by 63% 
  • Season to Date: Saturday Night Football Viewership up 49%; ESPN/ABC Have Aired Top Six Most-Watched Games and Average Viewership per Game 156% Higher than Fox Sports

ABC’s Saturday Night Football featuring Oklahoma at Ohio State (8 p.m.) delivered a total live audience of 8,255,000 viewers, the network’s most-viewed non-opening week September game since 2011. The audience for the Sooners victory set the pace across all networks in week 2, as the matchup of top 5 teams was the most-watched college football game of the week on any network and generated an audience 300% higher than Fox Sports’ prime-time matchup.

ESPN and ABC Air Four of Five Most-Watched Games, Each Network Sees Year-Over-Year Audiences Increases
In week 2, ABC and ESPN aired four of the five most-watched games across all networks. Also, both ESPN and ABC, individually, generated an increase in total live audience across its slate of week 2 games compared to last season’s second week.

ESPN Outdraws Fox Broadcast in Prime-Time
Auburn at Clemson (7 p.m. on ESPN) delivered a total live audience of 3,504,000 viewers, week 2’s the third largest audience in primetime across all networks. Factoring in just ESPN’s TV audience, the game outdrew Fox in the timeslot by 63%.

Earlier in the day, Cincinnati at Michigan (noon on ABC) and Pittsburgh at Penn State (3:30 p.m. on ABC) had audiences of 3,693,000 and 3,742,000 viewers, respectively, the highest audiences in the noon and late afternoon game windows across all networks. The viewership for the Wolverines victory was up 27% from last year’s UCF-Michigan game which was held in the same game window.

All games were held Saturday, Sept. 9

2017 Season to Date:

  • Saturday Night Football Audience Grows, ABC Wins the Night
    Through the first two weeks of the season, ABC’s Saturday Night Football is up 49% from the first two games of last season. Additionally, each of the first two weeks of the season, ABC won the night among households, viewers and all key male and adult demos on the heels of SNF
  • ESPN/ABC’s Audience 156% Bigger than Fox
    The 19 games on ESPN and ABC have averaged 3,766,000 viewers, 156% higher than the 11 on Fox and FS1
  • Most-Watched Games Air on ESPN and ABC
    Through the first two weeks of the college football season, ABC and ESPN have combined to televise the six most-watched games across all networks and nine of the top 10.
Rank Network Matchup TV Viewers Date
1 ABC Florida State vs. Alabama 12,343,000 Sat, Sept. 2
2 ABC Oklahoma at Ohio State 8,086,000 Sat, Sept. 9
3 ABC Michigan at Florida 7,655,000 Sat, Sept. 2
4 ESPN Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech 5,141,000 Mon, Sept. 4
5 ESPN Ohio State at Indiana 5,135,000 Thur, Aug. 31
6 ABC West Virginia vs. Virginia Tech 4,647,000 Sun, Sept. 3
7 NBC Georgia at Notre Dame 4,089,000 Sat, Sept. 9
8 ABC Pittsburgh at Penn State 3,702,000 Sat, Sept. 9
9 ABC Cincinnati at Michigan 3,614,000 Sat, Sept. 9
10 ESPN Auburn at Clemson 3,368,000 Sat, Sept. 9


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