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Rewriting the Record Books: Notre Dame-USC Delivers ABC’s Most-Watched November Prime-time Game in Nearly Four Years; Oklahoma-West Virginia Among ESPN’s Most-Watched Friday Games in 25 Years


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  • College Football Propels ESPN and ABC to “Win the Night” Across All Networks Over Thanksgiving Weekend 
  • Fighting Irish-Trojans: Most-Watched Notre Dame Game in More Than Two Years on Any Network


ESPN and ABC delivered college football’s best prime-time audiences in back-to-back nights over Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 23-24) and simultaneously outpaced all networks – including non-sports programming – in the coveted timeslot. ESPN also delivered one of its best Friday college football audiences on record, while ABC delivered a multi-year prime-time high across ESPN’s networks on college football’s final full weekend.

Notre Dame-USC: Most-Watched November Prime-time Game on ESPN’s Networks Since 2014 with Nearly Eight Million Viewers
ABC’s Saturday Night Football featuring Notre Dame at USC (8 p.m. ET) delivered a total live audience of 7,809,000 viewers, the most-watched Fighting Irish game on any network since the then-record-setting opening weekend audience for Notre Dame at Texas on ABC (Sept. 4, 2016). Among all November prime-time games, the nearly eight million viewers is best on ESPN’s networks since the 2014 season.

ABC increased its audience 46% year-over-year from the similar time window (Notre Dame at Stanford), while outpacing the broadcast competition on the same night by 383%.

Oklahoma-West Virginia: Ranks in ESPN’s Top Three Friday Games Since 1993
ESPN also reset the record books, as Oklahoma at West Virginia (8 p.m.) delivered one of the network’s top three regular season Friday viewerships on record, which dates back to 1993. The Nielsen total live audience of 5,630,000 viewers outpaced the broadcast competition showing college football the same night by 38% and grew ESPN’s audience year-over-year by 160%.

ESPN’s telecast of UCF at South Florida (4:15 p.m.) earlier on Friday delivered a Nielsen total live audience of 1,741,000 viewers, generating a 148% increase from the similar game window last season.

College GameDay Built by The Home Depot Also Sets Multi-Year High
College GameDay Built by The Home Depot (9 a.m. – noon) continued the trend of multi-year highs, as the premier pregame show earned a Nielsen total live audience of 2,451,000 viewers.


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