Record-Setter: ESPN’s National College Football Playoff Championship Game on Monday Night Delivered the Largest Audience in Cable History

Jan 14, 2015  •  Post A Comment

The following is courtesy of an ESPN press release:

“ESPN’s Monday night telecast of the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T — Ohio State’s 42-20 victory over Oregon at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas – averaged 33,395,00 viewers and an 18.2 US household rating, according to Nielsen, delivering both the largest audience and highest rating in cable television history.

“The National Championship game surpassed both College Football Playoff Semifinals from Jan. 1: the Allstate Sugar Bowl (28,271,000 viewers) and The Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual (28,164,000 viewers), establishing the new most-watched cable program. In all, the first three games of the new College Football Playoff format (the beginning of ESPN’s 12-year agreement) are now the top 3 most-viewed programs in cable history. Together, the CFB Playoff Semifinals and National Championship combined to average 29,812,000 viewers and a 16.0 US household rating.  Additionally, ESPN has now televised the Top 20 programs in cable history.”

Top 20 Most-Viewed Programs in Cable Television (Viewers)

Rank Date Program Network Viewers (000s)
01/12/2015 CFB/National Championship: Oregon-Ohio State^ ESPN 33,395
01/01/2015 CFB/Sugar Bowl: Alabama-Ohio St. ^^ ESPN 28,271
01/01/2015 CFB/Rose Bowl: Oregon-Florida St. ^^ ESPN 28,164
01/10/2011 CFB/BCS Champ: Oregon-Auburn ESPN 27,316
01/07/2013 CFB/BCS Champ: Alabama-Notre Dame ESPN 26,380
01/06/2014 CFB/BCS Champ: Florida St.-Auburn ESPN 25,572
01/09/2012 CFB/BCS Champ: Alabama-LSU ESPN 24,214
10/05/2009 NFL MNF: Green Bay-Minnesota ESPN 21,839
01/03/2015 NFL Wild Card: Arizona-Carolina^^^ ESPN 21,678
11/30/2009 NFL MNF: New England-New Orleans ESPN 21,402
01/01/2011 CFB/Rose Bowl: TCU-Wisconsin ESPN 20,558
12/27/2010 NFL MNF: New Orleans-Atlanta ESPN 19,137
10/27/2014 NFL MNF: Washington-Dallas ESPN 18,809
01/01/2014 CFB/Rose Bowl: Stanford-Michigan State ESPN 18,636
09/15/2008 NFL MNF: Philadelphia-Dallas ESPN 18,608
10/25/2010 NFL MNF: NY Giants-Dallas ESPN 17,953
01/02/2012 CFB/Rose Bowl: Wisconsin-Oregon ESPN 17,558
12/03/2007 NFL MNF: New England-Baltimore ESPN 17,522
09/27/2010 NFL MNF: Green Bay-Chicago ESPN 17,454
10/11/2010 NFL MNF: Minnesota-NY Jets ESPN 17,313

^ = College Football Playoff National Championship

^^ = College Football Playoff Semifinal


^^^ = NFL Playoffs 



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