Saturday, January 2, 2016

Report: NYE Football Ratings Down

A lot of people watched the College Football Playoff semifinals on ESPN Thursday — but not nearly as many as watched them last season.

The Clemson-Oklahoma matchup in the Orange Bowl drew a 9.7 rating in the overnight metered markets. The prime-time Cotton Bowl telecast (Alabama-Michigan State) fared a little better with a 9.9.

Both games are down significantly from last season’s inagurual playoff semis, which averaged a 15.3 and a 15.5.

According to, a number of factors could have contributed to the drop: it being the second year of the playoff rather than the first; the games airing on New Year’s Eve rather than the traditional college football bonanza of New Year’s Day; and the fact that both games were one-sided (Clemson won 37-17, and Alabama shut out Michigan State 38-0).

ESPN notes that both games drew more than a million viewers on WatchESPN. Both posted huge gains over the comparable games last season, suggesting that football may have been a second-screen option to New Year’s Eve programming (which was fairly steady) in a number of homes.

The College Football Playoff didn’t do any damage to the New Year’s Eve institution that is “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” on ABC. The primetime portion of the celebration averaged a 2.2 in adults 18-49 from 8-10 p.m. and a 3.9 from 10-11, both up a tenth from last year’s fast nationals (which adjusted up in the finals).

NBC’s year-end programming — “A Toast to 2015” and “New Year’s Eve Game Night with Andy Cohen” — took second in primetime, while the early portion of “Pitbull’s New Year’s Revolution” (0.9) was up over last year’s 0.7 for FOX.

Thursday Evening's Numbers

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