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ABC’s Saturday Night Football: Ohio State at Penn State Delivers Impressive 6.1 Overnight, Highest-Rated Game of the Season on Any Network

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  • Setting the Bar: ABC/ESPN Have Aired Four of Five Highest-Rated Games of the Season
  • Historically High Rating: Buckeyes-Nittany Lions Thriller Ranks Among ABC’s Top 5 Highest-Rated September Saturday Games on Record
  • ABC Leads the Way in Week 5: Airs Two Highest-Rated Games; Beats Broadcast Competition by 135% and 510% in Primetime

College football’s week 5 resulted in ABC raising the bar among all networks once again, as ABC’s Saturday Night Football aired the highest-rated game of the season when Ohio State-Penn State (7:30 p.m. ET) delivered an impressive 6.1 overnight. The Big Ten showdown is among the network’s highest-rated September Saturday games on record and bested the broadcast competition by more than triple digits in week 5. ABC’s primetime success completed a week which saw the network televise the two highest-rated games and grow its own ratings by 63% year-over-year across its tripleheader.

ABC’s week 5 success continues a season-long trend, which now includes the network airing the top two highest-rated games among all networks. Among the top five highest-rated games, ESPN/ABC have aired four of them.

Ohio State-Penn State: Top Five Highest-Rated ABC September Saturday Games on Record
ABC’s Saturday Night Football’s strong overnight for the Buckeyes-Nittany Lions ranks among ABC’s top 5 highest-rated September Saturday games on record dating back to 2004.  Among all games on the network, the Buckeyes’ 27-26 victory is the best regular season game on ABC/ESPN in more than a calendar year, dating back to the sport’s Kickoff Weekend in 2017.

Fourth Quarter Delivers Impressive 8.2 Peak Overnight, Highest-Rated Peak Rating in the Sport this Season
Fans continued to tune into ABC’s Saturday Night Football throughout the night, peaking at an impressive 8.2 rating as the Buckeyes completed a come-from-behind fourth quarter victory (11:15-11:30 p.m.), the highest overnight peak in college football this season among all networks.

Week 5: ABC Easily Airs Highest-Rated Game in Primetime; ESPN/ABC Will ‘Win-the-Night’ for Fourth Consecutive Saturday
ABC’s Saturday Night Football was easily the highest-rated game in primetime in week 5, outpacing the broadcast competition by 135% and 510%, respectively. ABC is expected to easily “win the night” among all genres across all networks, broadcast and cable, when final numbers are in, which will result in ESPN/ABC “winning-the night” six times in the season’s first five weeks of the season including fourth consecutive Saturday.

ABC’s Saturday Night Football Airs Highest-Rated Games of 2018
Week 5 was the second time in three weeks that ABC’s Saturday Night Football set a new season high among all networks, as the Buckeyes-Nittany Lions showdown topped the Ohio State-TCU showdown in week 3. As a result, the signature college football franchise has aired the two highest-rated games of the season.

Additional Ohio State-Penn State Highlights:  

  • SNF Up Triple Digits: The overnight for the Buckeyes’ victory resulted in SNF being up 103% year-over-year
  • Columbus Earns Top Billing: Columbus delivered a 43.3 local rating, the market’s best on ABC dating back to 2016. The complete top 10 markets:

 

Rank Rating Market
1 43.3 Columbus, OH
2 26.6 Dayton
3 24.6 Cleveland
4 14.6 Cincinnati
5 13.5 Pittsburgh
6 12.7 Oklahoma City
7 12.6 Tulsa
8 10.7 Birmingham
9 10.6 Philadelphia
10 7.6 Atlanta

Syracuse at Clemson: ABC’s Highest-Rated Noon Game Window Since 2016
ABC’s telecast of Syracuse at Clemson (noon) delivered a 3.3 overnight, the network’s best in that timeslot since 2016 and up 65% from the same game window last year. The rating peaked at an impressive 5.0 as the Tigers rallied in the fourth quarter (3:15-3:30 p.m.)

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