Press Releases

College Football

Notre Dame-USC and Oklahoma-West Virginia: Highest-Rated Prime-Time Games on Thanksgiving Weekend across all Networks and Deliver Multi-Year Highs for ABC and ESPN; College GameDay Built by The Home Depot Sets New Record Rating


Posted on

  • Fighting Irish-Trojans: ABC’s Saturday Night Football’s Best Rivalry Week Overnight Since 2012; ESPN/ABC Best November Prime-time Game Since 2014
  • Sooners-Mountaineers: ESPN’s Highest-Rated Friday Game Since 2010
  • College GameDay: Show’s Highest-Rated Three Hour Program Ever

ESPN and ABC’s back-to-back prime-time presentations — Oklahoma at West Virginia and Notre Dame at USC during college football’s rivalry week — delivered multi-year highs on their respective networks, were the two highest-rated prime-time games in week 13 across all networks, continuing a season-long trend of ESPN/ABC airing the sport’s highest-rated prime-time games, and ranked among the highest-rated games across all networks during the sport’s final full weekend. In between the two prime-time successes, College GameDay Built by The Home Depot delivered a new record rating in the show’s illustrious, Emmy award-winning history.

Notre Dame-USC: 5.1 Overnight, Setting Multi-Year Highs for ESPN/ABC in a Number of Categories
ABC’s Saturday Night Football presentation of Notre Dame at USC (8 p.m.) delivered a 5.1 overnight, SNF’s highest-rated Thanksgiving week game in six years (2012) and the highest-rated November prime-time game on any ESPN network or ABC since 2014 (more than 125 games).

The Fighting Irish’s victory, which all about assures them a spot in the College Football Playoff, led ABC to a 55% year-over-year increase from the similar window last season (Notre Dame at Stanford) and out-rated the broadcast competition in week 13 by 325% head-to-head, marking the 11th Saturday in the sport’s 13 weeks that ABC/ESPN delivered the highest-rated primetime game in the sport.

Oklahoma-West Virginia: 3.4 Overnight, ESPN’s Highest-Rated Friday Game Since 2010; Propels ESPN to 162% Year-Over-Year Increase
ESPN/ABC’s prime-time success began on Black Friday, as ESPN’s telecast of Oklahoma at West Virginia (8 p.m.) delivered a 3.4 overnight, the network’s highest-rated Friday game since 2010 (89 games). The overnight for the Sooners’ victory is the highest-rated Black Friday game across all networks since 2015 and, this season, was easily the highest of the day among all networks, including outpacing the prime-time broadcast competition by 31%.

For ESPN, the overnight was a 162% increase year-over-year from the similar game window last season (Virginia Tech-Virginia) and across all of cable, the game is the second highest-rated game this season, trailing only ESPN’s Labor Day night telecast (Virginia Tech-Florida State).

College GameDay Built by The Home Depot Delivers Highest-Rated Three Hour Program Ever
College GameDay Built by The Home Depot (9 a.m. – noon) delivered its highest-rated three hour program ever, earning a 1.7 overnight on ESPN. Overall, Saturday’s show from Columbus, Ohio, is the highest-rated for the program since 2011, when it was only two hours (10 a.m. – noon) on ESPN. The show expanded to three hours on ESPN in 2013.

ESPN Sees Additional Successes across the Weekend
ESPN’s late afternoon Black Friday telecast of UCF at South Florida (4:15 p.m.) delivered a 1.2 overnight, a 140% ratings increase year-over-year in that same timeslot (Navy at Houston) and ESPN’s final telecast of the weekend – Utah State at Boise State (10:15 p.m.) – is the highest-rated Saturday Mountain West conference game on ESPN’s networks since 2012.

Please note: SEC Network is not a Nielsen rated network


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