College Football Week 4: ABC's "Saturday Night Football" Leads in Prime-Time; ESPN and ABC Combined to Air Two of the Three Highest-Rated Games on Any Network
· Stanford at Oregon: Highest-Rated Pac-12 Conference Game on ESPN/ABC Since 2014
· Georgia at Missouri: Cable's Highest-Rated Afternoon Game This Season and Best Noon Game Since 2016
· Saturday's ESPN Final Game Window Featuring Pac-12 Delivers Year-Over-Year Gains for Third Consecutive Week; Up 33% This Season
· ESPN Airs Top Five Games on Cable Including Two Best Games on Friday Night
College football's week four saw ABC's Saturday Night Football deliver the highest prime-time rating of any network, as ABC and ESPN combined to air two of the three highest rated games of the week while simultaneously setting multiyear superlative highs. The week also continued a trend for the season, as ESPN aired the five highest games on cable, including beating its cable competition head-to-head on Friday night and in every game window on Saturday.
ABC's Saturday Night Football: Stanford at Oregon Delivers Highest-Rated Pac-12 Conference Game Since 2014
ABC's Saturday Night Football featuring Stanford at Oregon (8 p.m. ET) delivered a 3.0 overnight, the best overnight featuring two Pac-12 teams on ESPN/ABC since Nov. 22, 2014 (64 games, including seven SNF games). The overnight set the pace in primetime, beatings its broadcast competition by 58%.
The Cardinal-Ducks rating peaked at a 4.1 as the Cardinal completed their fourth quarter comeback which resulted in one overtime period (11:15 - 11:45 p.m.) Among local markets, Portland led the way with a 16.4 local rating. The complete top 10:
Rank Rating Market
1 16.4 Portland, OR
2 5.2 San Francisco
3 5.0 Seattle-Tacoma
4 4.6 Tulsa
5 4.5 Dayton
6 4.3 Los Angeles
7 4.1 Columbus, OH
8 3.9 Birmingham
9 3.8 New Orleans
Georgia at Missouri: Third Highest-Rated Game of the Day Across All Networks, Cable's Highest Noon Window Rating Since 2016
ESPN's telecast of Georgia vs. Missouri (noon) delivered a 2.3 overnight, the third best overnight of the day across all networks, and both cable's highest-rated noon window since the 2016 season and cable's second best Saturday overnight of the 2018 season. The overnight for the Bulldogs victory outpaced the cable competition yesterday by 187% in the same game window.
ESPN Experiences Year-Over-Year Overnight Gains in Saturday Final Window Featuring Pac-12 for Third Consecutive Week; Window Up 33% this Season
ESPN's telecast of Arizona State at Washington (10:30 p.m.) earned a 1.4 overnight, up 17% from the same window last year and the third consecutive week the network has experience year over year gains in the finale game window of the day. For the season, the window is up 33%. Leading into the Pac-12 showdown, Florida at Tennessee (7 p.m.) delivered a 1.5 overnight, as both games represented the second and third highest-rated cable games of the day. The overnight for the Gators' victory was up 200% from its cable competition.
Friday Night Ratings Began Weekend Success for ESPN
ESPN's week 4 success began Friday, as the network aired the two highest games of the night. Washington State at USC (10:30 p.m.) earned a 1.3 overnight while Florida Atlantic at UCF (1.0) earned a 1.0. Both games were among the top five highest-rated games on cable in week 4 and beat the cable competition that same night by 86% and 43%, respectively.
College GameDay Up 17% Year-Over-Year in Week 4
College GameDay Built by The Home Depot (9 a.m.-noon) delivered a 1.4 overnight on ESPN and ESPNU for its live, pre-dawn show in Eugene, Oregon, up 17% from last year's week 4 show.
College Football Week 4: Stanford-Oregon is Most-Watched ESPN/ABC Pac-12 Conference Game in Nearly Four Years; Georgia-Missouri is Cable's Most-Watched Afternoon Game This Season
· ABC and ESPN Air Two of Three Most-Watched Games; ABC or ESPN "Wins the Night" For Third Consecutive Week, Beating All Sports and Non-Sports Broadcast and Cable Competition
· Saturday's Finale Window Featuring Pac-12 Up Again Year-Over-Year; Up 22% for the Season
· ESPN Beats Cable Competition in Every Game Window
College football's week four resulted in ABC/ESPN setting the pace in prime-time for the third consecutive week, while throughout the entire day, the two networks combined to air two of the top three games of the week. This week also continued multiple ESPN trends including growing its audience in its final game window and airing cable's most-watched games.
ABC's Saturday Night Football Peaks at Nearly Six Million Viewers
ABC's Saturday Night Football featuring Stanford at Oregon (8 p.m. ET) delivered a total live audience of 4,259,000 viewers, ESPN/ABC most-watched Pac-12 Conference game in nearly four years (Nov. 22, 2014). The Cardinal's come-from-behind, overtime victory was the most-viewed game in primetime this week, outpacing the broadcast competition by 29%. Now, season-to-date, ESPN or ABC telecast the most-watched primetime game in three of the four weeks.
The network's audience peaked at 5.9 million viewers as the Cardinal converted a game tying field goal and then both teams played a single overtime period (11:15 p.m. - 11:30 p.m.)
ABC 'Wins the Night' for Third Time This Season; Beats Sport and Non-Sport Competition
For the third time this season and the second consecutive Saturday night, ABC 'won the night' among all broadcast and cable networks including networks not airing sporting events. As part of the achievement, ABC rated the highest, and earned the most overall viewers, from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., while also delivering the highest ratings among all key male and female adult demos.
Georgia at Missouri is Cable's Most-Watched Noon Kickoff Since 2016
ESPN's telecast of Georgia at Missouri (noon) averaged a Nielsen total live audience of 3,328,000 viewers, the most-viewed cable game of the week across all networks, cable's most-watched afternoon game of the season, and cable's most-watched noon time kickoff since the 2016 season. The viewership was up 27% from last year's same game window on ESPN and beat its cable competition this week by 129%. Season to date, ESPN/ESPN2 has aired cable's 15 most-watched games.
Arizona State at Washington Delivers Double Digit Audience Growth
Arizona State at Washington (10:30 p.m.) delivered an audience of 1,834,000, up 10% from the same window last year. It is the third consecutive week the finale game window on Saturday has increased, resulting in ESPN's audience being up 22% in that window on the season.
Additional Week 4 Highlights:
· Big Blue Nation Turns to ESPN2: Mississippi State at Kentucky (7 p.m.) is the Wildcats most-watched ESPN2 telecast since 2013, earning a Nielsen total live audience of 1,219,000 viewers.
· Viewers Flock to ESPN on Friday: ESPN's aired the two most-watched games of Friday night as Washington State at USC (10:30 p.m.) had a Nielsen total live audience 1,644,000 viewers and Florida Atlantic at UCF earned an average of 1,295,000 viewers.