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ESPN’s Clemson vs. Texas A&M Leads the Way: 3.0 Overnight, the Top Game of Week 2 Across All Networks; ESPN/ABC Win the Day with Four of Top Six Games Overall


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  • Clemson-Texas A&M: Highest-Rated Game of Week 2 Across All Networks; Second-Best ESPN Saturday Primetime Game since 2016
  • ESPN and ABC Win the Day with Four of the Top Six Games Overall
  • ESPN Touts Top Five Games on Cable
  • Michigan State-Arizona State (10:45 p.m., ESPN) was ESPN’s Highest-Rated Saturday Finale Window Since 2016
  • College GameDay Built by The Home Depot up 17% from Week 2 in 2017

With one of the most dramatic finishes in the 2018 season, ESPN’s presentation of Clemson vs. Texas A&M was the highest-rated game of Week 2 across all networks. The tightly contested matchup between the Tigers and the Aggies is the second-highest Saturday primetime game on ESPN since 2016, and was up +50% from the same game window in 2017, which saw an early-season showdown between No. 3 Clemson and No. 13 Auburn go Clemson’s way with the Tigers scoring 14 unanswered points to beat Auburn, 14-6.

With the contest coming down to the closing minutes, the action at Kyle Field peaked at a 4.0 (10:30-10:45 p.m. ET) as Clemson intercepted the ball on an attempted A&M two-point conversion to seal the victory for the Tigers, 28-26.

Birmingham was the No. 1 local market for Clemson’s victory Saturday, registering a 16.0. The top 10 markets:

Rank Local Rating Market
1 16.0 Birmingham
2 15.9 Greenville-Sprtnburg-Ash
3 7.5 Charlotte
4 7.0 Austin
5 6.6 Atlanta
6 6.5 Dallas-Ft. Worth
7 6.4 San Antonio
8 6.2 Houston
9 6.1 Greensboro-High Point
10 5.9 Norfolk-Portsmth-N. Nws


Additional Week 2 Highlights:

  • ESPN and ABC Combine for Four of Top Six Games Overall
    In addition to ESPN’s marquee matchup between Clemson and A&M, ESPN and ABC teamed up to televise four of the top six games Saturday. Colorado’s 33-28 victory over Nebraska (3:30 p.m., ABC) rated a 2.1 Saturday, while Penn State’s rout of in-state rival Pittsburgh (8 p.m., ABC) registered a 2.0 rating. The noontime reverse mirror games of Arizona vs. Houston and Georgia Tech vs. USF recorded a 1.9 rating.
  • Pac-12 Soars with Highest ESPN Saturday Finale Window Rating since 2016
    With a wild finish that came down to a 28-yard field goal as time expired, Arizona State’s 16-13 upset of No. 15 Michigan State (10:45 p.m., ESPN) averaged a 1.6, the highest for that window on ESPN since November 2016 and 100% ratings increase from 2017. In total, ESPN touted the top five games on cable Saturday.
  • College GameDay Built by The Home Depot Gains Steam
    College GameDay Built by The Home Depot, set in College Station, Texas for the Clemson-Texas A&M showdown, averaged a 1.4 across ESPN and ESPNU, up +17% from 2017’s Week 2 show surrounding Oklahoma-Ohio State


Media contact: Amanda Brooks at 704-973-5042; [email protected] and @BrooksAD