College Football Week 3: ABC's Saturday Night Football: Ohio State-TCU is Highest-Rated Game of the Season on Any Network; ESPN and ABC Both Up 27% Year-Over-Year on Saturday
· ABC/ESPN Air Four of Six Highest-Rated Games Across All Networks, Up Year-Over-Year in Almost All Game Windows
· Buckeyes-Horned Frogs Earns 4.9 Overnight, Up 48% Year-Over-Year
· ESPN Grows Prime-Time Rating by 57%; ESPN/ESPN2 Airs Seven Highest-Rated Cable Games
College football's week 3 netted impressive results for both ABC and ESPN, as ABC's Saturday Night Football aired the highest-rated game of the season on any network and both networks were individually up 27% year-over-year on Saturday, Sept. 15. Led by SNF, ABC/ESPN combined to air four of the six highest-rated games across all networks while also generating year-over-year ratings increases in nearly every game window.
Ohio State vs. TCU Earns 4.9 Overnight, ABC's Highest-Rated Regular Season Game in More than Calendar Year
ABC's Saturday Night Football featuring Ohio State vs. TCU (8 p.m. ET) is the highest-rated game of the 2018 college football season across all networks, as the Buckeyes' 40-28 victory delivered a 4.9 overnight -- ABC's highest rating for a regular season game in more than a calendar year (Oklahoma at Ohio State on Sept. 9, 2017). Season to date, ABC/ESPN now have aired three of the four highest-rated games across all networks.
Additional Buckeyes-Horned Frogs Superlatives:
· Overnight Up Nearly 50%: ABC's SNF was up 48% from last year's week 3 game (Clemson at Louisville)
· Leading the Way in Prime-Time: ABC outpaced the broadcast competition by 113% in prime-time.
· Big Plays Lead to Peak Overnight: The overnight peaked at 5.9 during an explosive third quarter, in which 34 points were scored between the two teams (10:45-11 p.m.)
· Columbus' Rating Best on ABC/ESPN Since '16: Columbus was the No. 1 market, earning a 41.1 rating, notably higher than the aforementioned Oklahoma-Ohio State game last season. The market's rating was the best on ABC/ESPN in the regular season since November 2016. The complete top 10:
Rank Local Rating Market
1 41.1 Columbus, OH
2 23.2 Dayton
3 20.9 Cleveland
4 12.5 Cincinnati
5 11.3 Oklahoma City
6 9.2 Tulsa
7 9.1 Dallas-Ft. Worth
8 7.8 Nashville
9 7.4 Knoxville
10 7.2 Birmingham
ABC Up Year-Over-Year in Every Game Window; Oklahoma-Iowa State Among Highest-Rated Games of the Day
ABC SNF concluded a tripleheader which saw the network grow its audience in every single game window, as Oklahoma-Iowa State (noon) earned a 2.6 overnight, up 4% from last year, and BYU-Wisconsin (3:30 p.m.) earned a 2.1 overnight, up 24% from last year. The overnight for the Sooners' victory was the third-highest overnight of the day among all networks.
Alabama-Ole Miss is Cable's Second Highest Saturday Game of the Season; ESPN Up Big in Prime-time
Alabama at Ole Miss (7 p.m.) earned a 2.2 overnight, cable's second highest rated Saturday game of the season trailing only ESPN's telecast of Clemson-Texas A&M in week 2 (3.0 overnight). The overnight for the Crimson Tide's impressive victory was up 57% year-over-year, and peaked early at 3.7 overnight as Alabama extended their lead in the first half (7:30-7:45 p.m.).
ESPN Sees Year-Over-Year Growth in Nearly Every Game Window; Easily Sets Pace among Cable Competition in Every Game Window
Florida State at Syracuse (noon) earned a 1.3 overnight and Washington at Utah (10:15 p.m.) delivered a 1.2 overnight, up 18% and 50%, respectively, year-over-year, continuing a trend seen throughout the day on ESPN/ABC. Among its cable competition, ESPN's networks aired the seven highest-rated games and nine of the top 10, including the best in each of the game windows. In addition to the aforementioned primetime window:
· Noon: ESPN and ESPN2 aired the two highest-rated games, beating the competition by 333% and 33%. ESPNU and ESPNEWS equaled the competition in that window.
· Late Afternoon: ESPN topped the cable competition by 350%
· Final Game Window: ESPN surpassed the cable competition by 500%
ABC's Saturday Night Football: Ohio State vs. TCU - More than 7.3 Million Viewers, Most-Watched Game of the Year on any Network; ESPN/ABC Up 27% on Saturday
· Week 3 Highlights:
· ESPN Beats Broadcast Competition Head-to-Head in Prime-Time
· ABC Up Year-Over-Year in Every Game Window; ESPN Up 27% on Saturday
· ESPN and ABC: More than 11 Million People Watching on Saturday Night
· Throughout Saturday: 7.5 Million Watching ABC/ESPN's Networks on Average
· Season to Date:
· ESPN/ABC: Aired Seven of Top 9 Games This Season across All Networks
· ESPN/ABC: Combine to 'Win the Night', Beating Sport and Non-Sport Competition Four Times in Three Weeks
College football's week 3 delivered banner results for ABC and ESPN, as the networks combined to be up 27% year-over-year on Saturday, Sept. 15, and ABC's Saturday Night Football aired the most-watched game of the season on any network. ABC's primetime success capped a tripleheader which saw audience gains in each of its game windows and coincided with ESPN's prime time telecast which was the second most-watched primetime game on any network. During the two prime-time games, ESPN and ABC's audience peaked at 11,186,000 (9:30-9:45 p.m.ET) and throughout the course of eleven hours of game time (noon-11 p.m. ET), on average, 7.5 million fans were tuning into college football on ABC/ESPN's networks at any given minute.
Ohio State at TCU Leads to 41% Year-Over-Year Audience Increase
ABC's Saturday Night Football featuring Ohio State vs. TCU (8 p.m. ET) is the most-watched game of the season on any network, delivering a total live audience of 7,328,000 viewers. The telecast is ABC's most-watched regular season game in more than a calendar year (Oklahoma at Ohio State on Sept. 9, 2017) and up 41% from last season's week 3 SNF game.
ABC 'Wins the Night' for Second Time This Season; Beats Sport and Non-Sport Competition
Buoyed by the Big Ten-Big 12 clash, ABC went on to 'win the night' among households, viewers and all key male and female adult demos, beating all broadcast and cable competition - including networks not airing sporting events. Now, three weeks into the season, ABC/ESPN have beat the sport and non-sport competition four different nights, resulting in each network 'winning the night' on two different occasions.
Additional Buckeye-Horned Frog Superlatives:
· Among September's Best: The more than 7.3 million viewers is the fourth highest for a September, non-opening week SNF game in the last 10 years.
· Barrage of Points Peaks Audience: ABC's audience peaked at 8,700,000 viewers in the midst of a 34 point third quarter (10:30 - 11 p.m.)
· Prime-time Champions: ABC's audience topped its broadcast competition by 148% in primetime.
Alabama-Ole Miss Draws More than Four Million Viewers, Second Most-Watched Primetime Game of the Week
Prime-time success extended to ESPN, as Alabama at Ole Miss (7 p.m.) delivered a Nielsen total live audience of 4,109,000 viewers, the second most-watched prime-time game in week 3. The audience for the Crimson Tide's victory beat the broadcast competition by 39% and was up 64% year-over year from last season's same game window on ESPN.
ABC Sees Audience Gains Throughout the Day
ABC's success began early in the day as Oklahoma at Iowa State (noon) garnered a total live audience of 3,434,000 viewers and BYU at Wisconsin (3:30 p.m.) delivered a total live audience of 2,972,000 viewers. The audience for the Sooners' victory was up 4% year-over-year, while simultaneously earning the highest for the noon game window across its competition. The network's audience for the Cougars upset was up 28% from the same matchup last season.
ESPN Sees Success Throughout Saturday
ESPN grew its audience in nearly every window on Saturday, as Florida State at Syracuse (noon) delivered a Nielsen total live audience of 1,869,000 viewers, up 19% from similar game window last year and the second most-watched cable game of the day. ESPN's final game window featuring Washington at Utah (10 p.m.) averaged a Nielsen total live audience of 1,589,000 viewers and Boise State at Oklahoma State (3:30 p.m.) delivered 1,438,000 average viewers. The audience for the Huskies win was up 33% year-over year, while the audience for the Cowboys' win out-paced every game from the cable competition.
Nielsen Total Audience, Explained, via ESPN FRONTROW