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Ohio State-Maryland is Most-Watched College Football Game of Week 12; Audience Peaks at More Than Nine Million throughout Fourth Quarter and Overtime

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  • Buckeyes-Terrapins is ABC/ESPN’s Most-Watched Noon ET Game in Nearly Two Years; ABC Up 65% Year-Over-Year

  • ABC Airs Most-Watched Game in 3:30 p.m. and Primetime Windows Too; ‘Wins-the-Night’ Among All Networks – Sports and Non-Sports

  • ESPN Airs Cable’s Most-Watched Game of the Week for 12th Time in 12 Weeks

ABC and ESPN led the way among college football telecasts in week 12, as ABC aired the three most-watched games across all networks and ESPN televised the most-watched game on cable. ABC also set multi-year highs across ESPN/ABC in their noon ET window, while simultaneously airing the most-watched telecast of the day on any network (sports and non-sports) in key male demos.  The significant day for the network continued into prime-time, as ABC’s Saturday Night Football ‘won the night’ among all networks – both broadcast and cable – in multiple key demos.

Ohio State-Maryland: Among the Few College Football Games to Spike at More Than 9 Million Viewers This Season
ABC’s Ohio State at Maryland telecast (noon ET) was the most-viewed college football game of the week, drawing a total live audience of 5,685,000 viewers, spiking at more than nine million viewers for approximately 40 minutes while the Buckeyes and Terrapins played into the fourth quarter and overtime (3:30-4:08 p.m.) The game’s highest audience was reached during the overtime period, as an average of 9.2 million viewers tuned in (4-4:08 p.m.). The Big Ten game audience is among just the few college football games  this season to have a peak audience surpass the nine million-viewer threshold.

Multi-Year High, Most-Watched Telecast in Key Male Demos among Additional Ohio State-Maryland Superlatives

  • Multi-Year High: The audience of 5.7 million viewers results in the most-watched noon ET game on ESPN/ABC since November 2016
  • Audience Up Significantly: ABC’s audience was up 65% from the same game window last season (Virginia at Miami)
  • Most-Watched Among Key Demos: Game was the most-viewed telecast of the day — sports and non-sports — among males 18-34, 18-49, 25-54 and persons 18-34.
  • Topping the Competition: The significant audience was 122% better than the broadcast competition airing college football at the same time
  • Among The Best Audiences: The game ranks among the most-watched of the season. Now, season to date, ABC/ESPN have aired seven of the 13 most-watched games across all networks.

West Virginia-Oklahoma State: Most-Viewed Late Afternoon Game Across All Networks; Leads ABC to 19% Year-Over-Year Gain
ABC’s West Virginia at Oklahoma State game (3:30 p.m.) delivered a total live audience of 3,948,000 viewers, college football’s second most-watched game of the day across all networks, providing ABC a 19% increase in audience from the comparable window last season (Illinois at Ohio State).

For ABC, the Mountaineers-Cowboys game ranks as ABC’s most-viewed late afternoon window since the opening week of the season and topped the broadcast competition in the same window by 97%, 93%, and 36%, respectively.

ABC’s Saturday Night Football Caps a Significant Day of College Football Programming from UCF
ABC/ESPN continued its season-long prime-time success this week, as ABC’s Saturday Night Football delivered the most-watched game of the night when Cincinnati at UCF (8 p.m.) earned a total live audience of 3,124,000 viewers. The airing of the American Athletic game marks the 10th time this season ESPN/ABC has aired the most-watched primetime game in the sport.

The AAC showdown also led ABC to ‘win the night’ among all key male and adult demos (males 18-34, 18-49, 25-54, and  persons 18-34, 18-49, 25-54). The prime-time game bookended a day in Orlando, Fla., which began with College GameDay Built by The Home Depot (9 a.m.- noon) from the UCF campus, which drew 1,904,000 viewers across ESPN and ESPNU while also delivering a significant rating in the Knights’ home market.

ESPN Airs Most-Watched Cable Game for 12th Time in 12 Weeks
ESPN’s prime-time telecast of Duke at Clemson (7 p.m.) drew a Nielsen total live audience of 2,452,000 viewers, the most-watched cable telecast of the week. Now, 12 weeks into the season, ESPN has televised the most-watched cable game in each week of the season.

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