Hitting the sweet spot

The numbers are in and it’s about the worst news ESPN could have gotten.

After a huge freshman year and a sophomore slump, the third edition of the College Football Playoff split the difference in the metered markets.

Coverage of the College Football Playoff semifinals delivered an 11.0 overnight on ESPN and ESPN2 Saturday, up 11% from last year (9.9), but still well below the 15+ the games averaged two years ago. ESPN alone averaged a 10.4, up 6%.

In particular, the Alabama/Washington Peach Bowl had a combined 11.5 overnight rating on ESPN and ESPN2 — up 17% from last year’s Clemson/Oklahoma Orange Bowl (9.8) but down 26% from the Oregon/Florida State Rose Bowl two years ago, which aired on ESPN alone (15.5). ESPN’s solo telecast had a 10.9 overnight (+12%).

Last year’s Houston/Florida State Peach Bowl, which was not a playoff game, had a 4.0 overnight.

In the nightcap, the Clemson/Ohio State Fiesta Bowl had a 10.5 overnight on ESPN and ESPN2 — up 5% from last year’s Alabama/Michigan State Cotton Bowl (10.0) but down 31% from Ohio State/Alabama in the Sugar Bowl two years ago, which aired on ESPN alone (15.3). ESPN’s solo coverage had a 10.0, up a tick from last year.

Last year’s Ohio State/Notre Dame Fiesta Bowl, also not part of the playoff, had a 6.2 overnight.

Up some, but not up to where things started, in other words.  Had the New Year’s Eve numbers tanked completely for a second straight year, Mickey could have gone with the full court press on abandoning the day for the semis.  Instead, Bill Hancock gets to provide the narrative that the fans are coming around to college football’s newest tradition.  It’ll give the CFP folks at least a couple more seasons before they have to respond to any push from their broadcast partner.

I bet there are a lot of smiling faces at Bristol this week.  Not.

Advertisements

29 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, ESPN Is The Devil

29 responses to “Hitting the sweet spot

  1. Willie weenie wagon bulldawg

    I wont be shocked to see the committee broaden the “selection” process to a more geographically inclusive matchup, rather than a “souhern-east coast” bias. Probably see Big12 and pac vs bama next year.

    Like

  2. Bright Idea

    Maybe non competitive games and a lukewarm viewership will keep the playoffs at 4 teams. Of course comparing the numbers to a low standard can be spun toward 8 teams.

    Like

  3. Ben

    The CFP has actually diminished my interest. I was out doing things on Saturday afternoon, and I couldn’t believe Bama/Washington was on at 2 pm. I don’t think there’s a perfect scheduling solution for what they’re trying to do, but they’re ruining it for the rest of us.

    Like

  4. W Cobb Dawg

    Maybe they should assign Beth Mowins as one of the announcers.

    Like

    • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

      She was horrible, wasn’t she?

      Like

      • Uglydawg

        Of course she was, but at least she wasn’t begging for calls against Georgia like dude announcer was. At one point he tried to get a repeat of the “Georgia was late getting players off the field..review it” trick that we saw early in the season. Never mentioned the awful ball spots that Georgia got the whole game.

        Like

    • SouthGaDawg

      Beth Mowens is Georgia’s fault. You go to the Liberty Bowl, you get Beth Mowens – that’s life.

      Like

  5. ASEF

    The New Years Eve issue overlaps another point: the market for penultimate games at this point in the season might not be everything people thought it would be.

    If you look at eyeballs across the bowl board, you could argue that the semis are just diluting the market. Imagine the ratings joy another layer of Playoffs! would inspire.

    Like

  6. Uglydawg

    Don’t know how they get their stats but I’ll bet a lot of TV’s were turned off or retuned halftime up in the Northwest and Midwest.

    Like

  7. HVL Dawg

    This year I got with the program and co-hosted a NYE party at a local club with a giant TV. The party started late, at halftime Clemson -Ohio State game.

    Best NYE party evah! The liquor flowed and the women were beautiful.

    The recipe worked for me. Of course I live in an area full of Clempson fans and everyone loved watching a bully beat down of Ohio State.

    Like

    • Macallanlover

      Good call, more folks who cannot get their wives to let them stay home by a fire to watch should consider this. Everyone can watch, drink, eat, chat, dance, etc., whatever they prefer. And no mess to clean up.

      Like

  8. PTC DAWG

    NYE is the issue…period.

    Like

    • Otto

      bingo. New Years Day is the day to play the game.

      Like

    • Bulldog Joe

      True. College football used to own New Years Day.

      Before they got greedy and lost it.

      Like

    • The Dawg abides

      Agree. I haven’t watched a full semi-final game yet. The only way one of these games takes precedent over my nye plans is if UGA makes the playoff. That said, are next years games scheduled for the 1st, since nye falls on Sunday?

      Like

  9. Just Chuck (the other one)

    Any rational person and/or reader of this blog could have predicted this result. Unfortunately, many business types tend to go with hope and intuition over data.

    Like

  10. Doggoned

    On a brighter note, Saban just told Kiffin to hit the road before the championship game.

    Like

  11. Bob

    We have had 6 playoff games. One (Bama-OSU) was decided by 7 points. The other 5 had an AVERAGE difference of 29 points. That is with having gone from 2 teams to 4. Imagine the marquis matchups we will have when the idiots go to 8 teams and ultimately 16. This whole playoff thing is a piece of crap. The National Championship for 129 teams will always be mythical and cause great consternation. But we have managed to utterly diminish the Rose, Cotton, Sugar and Orange bowls in the process.

    Like

    • Macallanlover

      Yeah, real piece of crap. Should just discontinue CFB after the Thanksgiving weekend. We are all tired of it. Or maybe just the teams playing care about it, all other fans just do yard work, or run errands. TN fans certainly feel that way, they will empty a sports bar when the Vols game goes off, even if it was against TN-Martin and the next is Bama/LSU. No question, there is that type of fan in CFB. Then there is me, who watched every play starting with the LSU game and ending with the post mortem of ohio. All kinds of fans and interest levels.

      Like

  12. Scorpio Jones, III

    Audience numbers down in Ohio…those people know football.

    Like

  13. FarmerDawg

    The Rose Bowl better enjoy the next couple of years of “Tradition” . The tea leaves say they are about to give up their time slot or lose their seat at the table.

    Like

    • Macallanlover

      They have never been any more than the Sugar/Cotton/Orange with better weather and a protected time slot. If they stay pompous and arrogant, they should be challenged in that spot. Damn parade is a cut above though.

      Like

  14. doofusdawg

    curious to see the bowl attendance numbers this year.

    Like

  15. SouthGaDawg

    Two issues – 1) Games on NYE – obvious. That will change. 2) Young viewership is leaving football all together. The under 25 demographic doesn’t watch. They don’t watch college or pro. I was watching the camera pan shots in the Ga Dome. What was the younger generation doing at the game? Looking at their phone. This is our future.

    Like

  16. Brandon

    New Years Eve is on a Sunday next year, so they won’t get to see the results of a third consecutive year (next year at least). Surely they’ll see how much higher they are next year playing the semi’s on New Years Day (like they should be) and hopefully never go back.

    Like