College Football Kickoff Weekend: Houston-Oklahoma Becomes Second Highest-Rated Game of the Week; ABC has Aired Top 3 Highest-Rated Games
ABC has now televised the three highest-rated games of the College Football Kickoff Weekend, as the network's Sunday presentation of Houston-Oklahoma (7:30 p.m. ET) surpassed Saturday's ESPN CFB150 Showcase Game between Duke-Alabama (3:30 p.m.) to become the second highest-rated game of the week. The rating for the Cougars-Sooners matchup, which saw Oklahoma jump out to a 21-0 first half lead on their way to a 49-31 victory, trails only ABC Saturday Night Football's Oregon-Auburn matchup (7:30 p.m.), which remains the highest-rated game of the weekend.
ABC's Sunday showdown delivered a 3.6 overnight, peaking at a 4.2 late in the first half (9-9:15 p.m.). Oklahoma City was the No. 1 market, earning 28.0 local rating. Tulsa (25.9), Birmingham (18.7), West Palm Beach (7.7) and Houston (7.5) round out the top five markets.
Rank Game Rating Network
1 Oregon-Auburn 4.4 ABC
2 Houston-Oklahoma 3.6 ABC
3 Duke-Alabama 3.1 ABC
ESPN's five-day Kickoff Weekend slate concludes with the annual Labor Day Night special, featuring No. 9 Notre Dame at Louisville (8 p.m. on ESPN).
ESPN and ABC Televise Four Highest-Rated Games of College Football's Kickoff Weekend; ESPN Networks Finish Five-Day Slate Up 31%
· ABC's Saturday Night Football Sets the Pace among all Networks
· ESPN Airs Top 10 Highest-Rated Games on Cable this Season
ESPN and ABC aired the four highest-rated games during college football's Kickoff Weekend across all networks and, combined with ESPNEWS and ESPNU, delivered a 31% ratings increase over last season's similar Kickoff Weekend. The five-day slate's success was evident among many individual game windows, including the season premiere of ABC's Saturday Night Football featuring Oregon-Auburn, which delivered the sport's highest rating of the weekend and was up 63% year-over-year.
ABC and ESPN: Top Five Highest-Rated Games of the Season
Kickoff Weekend continued ESPN's fast start to the season, which began when ESPN televised Miami-Florida in Week 0 (Aug. 24) and delivered the network's highest-rated college football game since 2016. Inclusive of that game, ESPN and ABC have aired the five highest-rated games of the season and ESPN's networks, overall, have 15 of top 17.
Rank Game Rating Network Date
1 Oregon-Auburn 4.4 ABC Sat, Aug. 31
2 Miami-Florida 4.1 ESPN Sat, Aug. 24
3 Notre Dame-Louisville 3.7 ESPN Mon, Sept. 2
4 Houston-Oklahoma 3.6 ABC Sun, Sept. 1
5 Duke-Alabama 3.1 ABC Sat, Aug. 31
Notre Dame-Louisville Concludes Weekend with Another Top-Rated Game; Adds to ESPN's Cable Supremacy
ESPN's Labor Day telecast featuring Notre Dame at Louisville (8 p.m. ET) delivered a 3.7 overnight, making it the second highest-rated game of Kickoff Weekend across any network and the third highest-rated game of the season. With the Week 0 and Labor Day overnight ratings leading the way, ESPN and ESPNEWS have combined to air the top 11 highest-rated games on cable through Kickoff Weekend. Additional Irish-Cardinals highlights:
· The 3.7 rating was in line with last season's Labor Day telecast featuring Virginia Tech-Florida State (3.8 overnight).
· The overnight peaked throughout the first half, consistently landing at a 4.4 from 9 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. before the Irish took a 21-14 lead and never trailed again.
· Louisville was the No. 1 local market, earning a 16.6 local rating. The remaining top markets:
Rank Market Rating
1 Louisville 16.6
2 Birmingham 11.2
3 New Orleans 7.3
4 Indianapolis 7.0
5 Jacksonville 6.8
Additional Kickoff Week Highlights
· Besting the Competition: ESPN's networks had the highest-rated game in nearly every game window:
· Thursday: Two highest-rated games on August 29
· Friday: Two highest-rated games on August 30
· Saturday: Highest-rated late afternoon and top three highest-rated night games on August 31
· Starting Saturday Strong:
· ESPN's networks, cumulatively, were the highest-rated networks among any media company in the noon game window on Saturday, Aug. 31. In that window, ESPN's networks combined to deliver a 3.4 overnight across its four games.
· College GameDay Built by the Home Depot (9 a.m.-noon) delivered a 1.4 overnight (ESPN and ESPNU), including a 1.6 for its final hour on ESPN only.
Numbers included all based on Nielsen overnights; Additional final viewership elements will be available this week