Press Releases

College Football

Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech Double-Overtime Thriller Earns 3.3 Overnight, Capping Record-Breaking Kickoff Weekend for ESPN’s Networks


Posted on

  • ESPN’s Networks: Top Five Rated Games Across All TV Networks and Top Two Games on Cable
  • Florida State vs. Alabama: Massive 7.3 Overnight, ESPN/ABC’s Highest-Rated Kickoff Weekend Game on Record

ESPN concluded its industry-leading 65-game, five-day college football kickoff weekend (Aug. 31 – Sept. 4) with a thrilling, double-overtime Labor Day matchup between Tennessee and Georgia Tech (8 p.m. ET), which delivered a 3.3 overnight. Factoring in the Volunteers’ victory, ESPN’s networks aired the top 5 highest-rated games across all television (broadcast and cable) during kickoff weekend, including the top two games across all cable networks. In addition to televising the highest-rated games, ESPN’s networks broke numerous records, including Florida State-Alabama’s massive 7.3 overnight (Sept. 2 at 8 p.m. on ABC) becoming ESPN/ABC’s highest-rated kickoff weekend game on record and the MegaCast production of Ohio State-Indiana (Aug. 31 at 8 p.m.) providing the network’s highest opening night rating on record.

ESPN’s Networks Beats Fox Sports Four Out of Four Days
ESPN’s networks beat Fox Sports all four days of kickoff weekend (Aug. 31 – Sept. 3) which both companies had games, including having a 12x bigger overnight on Thursday, the top three overnights on a full Saturday slate and by 57% and 32%, respectively, when both companies had games on Friday and Sunday night. Overall, across all rated-networks, ESPN’s networks generated 79% of the gross overnight rating points throughout college football’s kickoff weekend.

Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech Highlights:

  • Among the Network’s Best: The 3.3 overnight is ESPN’s third best overnight since last season’s Labor Day night matchup, with Ohio State at Michigan State (Nov. 19, 2016) and the aforementioned Ohio State at Indiana game as the only games to top it.
  • Streaming Audience: The Tennessee comeback victory generated a streaming audience of 134,000 viewers, ESPN’s fourth game of kickoff weekend which generated a six-figure average minute streaming audience.
  • Top Markets: Knoxville was the top-market last night, earning a 33.9 local rating and Nashville, with an 18.0 rating, was the second best market. For both markets, it ranks as a the second best local rating for a game on ESPN’s networks since 2008, trailing only last season’s Battle at Bristol (Tennessee vs. Virginia Tech). The Top 10 markets for last night:
Rank Local Rating Market
1 33.9 Knoxville
2 18.0 Nashville
3 16.4 Birmingham
4 12.8 Atlanta
5 9.5 Memphis
6 8.1 Greenville
7 7.3 Jacksonville
8 6.3 Louisville
9 5.6 Columbus
10 5.1 Richmond



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