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[09/08/15 - 07:39 AM]
No. 1 Ohio State at Virginia Tech: Up 144% from 2014 Labor Day Matchup
ESPN spins the numbers for Monday, September 7.

[via press release from ESPN]

No. 1 Ohio State at Virginia Tech: Up 144% from 2014 Labor Day Matchup; Highest Overnight Rating for an Opening Weekend College Football Game Since 2010 Across all Networks

· Defending National Champions' Victory Earns 6.6 Overnight Rating

· Most-Streamed Regular-Season College Football Game on WatchESPN Ever

· Columbus' 43.4 Overnight is Highest Regular-Season Rating Ever on ESPN; Cleveland and Dayton Set Local Records Too

College football's week 1 finale featuring No. 1 Ohio State at Virginia Tech on ESPN (Sept. 7, 8 p.m. ET) earned a 6.6 overnight rating, marking a 144% increase from the 2014 Labor Day Matchup featuring Miami at Louisville (2.7 overnight). The 6.6 overnight rating is the best for a college football game on opening weekend since 2010 across all networks.

Additionally, the much anticipated matchup is the most-streamed college football regular-season game on WatchESPN of all time. Across all devices, the Ohio State victory had an average minute audience of 194,000 users and a total of 708,000 unique viewers on WatchESPN, accumulating 41,900,000 million minutes viewed throughout the game. Each category is an increase from the November, 29, 2014 Iron Bowl featuring Auburn at Alabama -- which held the previous best in each category -- by 63%, (119,000 users) 49%, (475,000 unique viewers) and 43% (29,300,000 live minutes), respectively.

ESPN's Top 5 Labor Day Games

Historically, Monday night's matchup becomes the second-highest Labor Day game ever on ESPN and third-highest opening weekend game ever on ESPN or ABC based on overnights:

Rank Overnight Rating Date Game Network
1. 6.7 Sept. 6, 2010 Boise State vs. Virginia Tech ESPN
2. 6.6 Sept. 7, 2015 Ohio State at Virginia Tech ESPNv 3. 6.1 Sept. 4, 2006 Florida State at Miami ESPN
4. 5.6 Sept. 7, 2009 Miami at Florida State ESPN
5. 4.5 Sept. 1, 2008 Tennessee at UCLA ESPN

Based on overnight ratings

ESPN/ABC Top 5 Opening Weekend College Football Games

Rank Overnight Rating Date Game Network
1. 7.2 Mon, Sept. 5, 2005 Miami at Florida State ABC
2. 6.7 Mon, Sept. 6, 2010 Boise State vs. Virginia Tech ESPN
3. 6.6 Mon, Sept. 7, 2015 Ohio State at Virginia Tech ESPN
4 6.1 Mon, Sept. 4, 2006 Florida State at Miami ESPN
5 5.8 Sat, Sept. 2, 2006 Notre Dame at Georgia Tech ABC

Based on overnight rating, records date back to 2004 for ABC and 2001 for ESPN

No. 1 Ohio State at Virginia Tech Local Markets

Columbus was the highest-rated local market, achieving a 43.4 overnight rating, the market's best for a regular-season college football game on ESPN ever. Cleveland and Dayton, which were the second and third highest-rated markets with a 28.7 and 28.4 overnight rating, respectively, also achieved the best overnight rating for a regular-season college football game on ESPN ever. The top 10 markets:

Rank Rating Market
1 43.4 Columbus
2 28.7 Cleveland
3 28.4 Dayton
4 19.8 Birmingham
5 16.3 Richmond
6 14.6 Cincinnati
7 13.1 Norfolk
8 11.5 Knoxville
9 10.5 Greenville
10 10.3 Jacksonville

Local ratings data dates back to 2001

College Football Fans Tuned to ESPN throughout Opening Weekend

College football fans tuned to ESPN throughout college football's opening weekend, resulting in ESPN televising the most-watched game (3,601,000 viewers) on Thursday, Sept. 3, (North Carolina vs. South Carolina) and the highest-rated game (4.3 overnight rating) on Saturday, Sept. 5 (Wisconsin vs. Alabama on ABC). Additionally, Friday's doubleheader (Sept. 4) featuring No.4 Baylor at SMU and Washington at No. 22 Boise State both garnered 1.5 overnight ratings, up 67% and 114%, respectively, over the 2014 season-opening Friday night doubleheader.





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