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College Football Week 12: ABC Televises Three Highest-Rated Games, Sets a Multi-Year Overnight High in Noon ET Window; ESPN Tops the Cable Charts

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  • Ohio State-Maryland: Strong 4.1 Overnight, Best Noon ET Game on ESPN/ABC since 2016; Game Peaks at an Impressive 6.3 Overnight

  • West Virginia-Oklahoma State: Leads the Way in Crowded 3:30 p.m. Game Window

  • ABC’s Saturday Night Football Cincinnati-UCF: Best in Primetime; Orlando Market Delivers for SNF and College GameDay Built by The Home Depot

ABC and ESPN carried the day across all networks in college football’s week 12, as ABC aired the three highest-rated games overall and ESPN aired the highest-rated game on cable. ABC’s success was evident throughout all of Saturday, Nov. 17, as the network delivered the highest-rated game in each of its game windows (noon, 3:30 p.m. and primetime), including delivering ESPN/ABC’s highest-rated noon window since 2016.

Ohio State-Maryland: Highest-Rated Game of the Week; Game Surpasses 6.0 Overnight for More than 45 Minutes
ABC’s telecast of Ohio State at Maryland (noon ET) was the highest-rated game of the day, delivering a 4.1 overnight for the game and surpassing a 6.0 overnight for the game’s dramatic finish (3:30-4:15 p.m.). The 4.1 rating for the Buckeyes’ overtime victory is ESPN/ABC’s best for a noon game since Michigan-Ohio State in November of 2016.

Additional Highlights:

  • Significantly Up Year-Over-Year: The high-scoring Big Ten game resulted in ABC being up 58% year-over-year from the similar game window last season (Virginia at Miami).

 

  • Rating Peaks as Drama Ensues: ABC’s rating continued to gain momentum throughout the dramatic second half, as noted above, including a peak rating of 6.3 from 3:30-3:45 p.m.
  • Columbus Leads Among Local Markets: Columbus was the No. 1 local market, delivering a 35.0 overnight. The top ten markets:
Rank Local Rating Market
1 35.0 Columbus, OH
2 20.2 Dayton
3 18.6 Cleveland
4 10.0 Cincinnati
5 9.1 Oklahoma City
6 8.4 Tulsa
7 5.9 Washington, DC
8 5.6 Baltimore
9 5.4 Indianapolis
10 5.2 Greenville

ABC Out-Rates All of the Competition in Crowded 3:30 p.m. Window; Grows its Own Ratings Year-Over-Year
ABC continued its success with West Virginia at Oklahoma State (3:30 p.m.), as the Big 12 game earned a 2.6 overnight and propelled the network to a 18% growth year-over-year from the network’s similar game last season (Illinois at Ohio State). The rating for the Cowboys’ come-from-behind victory surpassed all the competition in the same game window, including the three other broadcast network competitors by 100%, 63%, and 30%, respectively.

ABC’s Saturday Night Football Leads the Way in Primetime
ABC’s Saturday Night Football featuring Cincinnati at UCF (8 p.m.) was the highest-rated primetime game of the week, delivering a 2.3 overnight. The rating for the Knights’ 23rd consecutive win topped the broadcast competition by 15%, leading to ABC/ESPN earning the highest-rated primetime game in the sport for the 10th time in 12 weeks this season.

Orlando and Cincinnati were the two highest-rated markets for SNF, delivering an 11.1 and 10.6 respectively. In Orlando, the local rating is the market’s best for a ESPN/ABC game this season. In Cincinnati, the local rating notably surpassed the market’s rating for the Ohio State game earlier in the day.

ESPN Airs Highest-Rated Game on Cable; ESPN/ESPN2 Pepper the Top of the Charts
ESPN led the way on cable, as Duke at Clemson (7 p.m.) earned a 1.5 overnight, cable’s highest-rated game of week 12. Overall, ESPN and ESPN2 combined to air 10 out of the top 11 games on cable for the week.

College GameDay Built by The Home Depot Up Year-Over-Year; Orlando Rates at a Near Record High
College GameDay Built by The Home Depot (9 a.m. – noon) delivered a 1.4 overnight for its first ever show from Orlando, Fla., up 8% from the week 12 show last year. In Orlando, College GameDay earned a 3.9 overnight, tying as the market’s best rating for the premier pre-game show since 2010.

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