College Football Week 5: ABC's "Saturday Night Football" Earns Best Overnight of the Week; ESPN's Networks Deliver Five of Six Highest-Rated Games and Top 6 on Cable
· SNF Outpaces Fox by 67% in Prime Time on Saturday
· USC-Washington State: Cable's Highest Overnight of the Week, Among ESPN'S Best Friday Night Games on Record
· Cougars Victory Delivers a Seattle Local Market Record
· Vanderbilt-Florida: ESPN's Highest-Rated Afternoon Game of the Season
ESPN's Networks earned college football highest ratings in week 5, according to Nielsen overnights, as ABC televised the highest-rated game of the week and ESPN/ABC combined for five of the six highest rated games of the week across all networks. On cable, ESPN's networks once again set the pace, delivering the six highest overnights among all networks.
ABC's Saturday Night Football Continues Season Trend
ABC's Saturday Night Football featuring Clemson at Virginia Tech (8 p.m.) earned a 3.0 overnight, the best among all networks in week 5. The premier college football franchise's overnight outpaced Fox' primetime game by 67% and CBS' afternoon game by 15%. As a result, SNF is projected to be the most-watched prime time game of the week for the fifth time in the five weeks of the college football season.
Friday Night Lights: USC-Washington State Third Best Overnight Among All Networks in Week 5; Impressive Local Ratings in Seattle and Los Angeles
ESPN's Friday night matchup featuring USC at Washington State (10:30 p.m.) earned a 2.2 overnight, cable's best overnight of week five and the third best overnight among all networks in week 5. Additional highlights:
· Pac-12 Delivers in Late Night Window: In consecutive years, ESPN has now televised two of the three highest-rated late night Friday night games (9 p.m. start or later) on record as the Trojans-Cougars matchup joins Stanford at Washington (2.4 overnight) last season in the top 3*.
· Seattle Sets New Cougars Record: Seattle earned a 9.0 local rating, the No. 1 market for the game and the market's best for a Washington State game on ESPN. Los Angeles was the second highest rated market, earning a 6.0, the market's best ever for a Friday night game on ESPN. The complete top 5:
Rank Local Rating Market
1 9.0 Seattle
2 6.1 Los Angeles
3 5.7 Birmingham
4 4.6 Portland
5 3.6 Oklahoma City
· Strong Ratings throughout Second Half: The dramatic game held the audience well, as the final five quarter hours (12:45- 1 a.m., 1-1:15 a.m., 1:15- 1:30 a.m., 1:30-1:45 a.m., and 1:45-2 a.m.) each earned a 2.1 rating.
· Doubleheader on ESPN Dominates the Night: Miami at Duke (7 p.m.), also on ESPN, led into the Pac-12 showdown, with the ACC matchup earning a 1.3 overnight. The overnight for the Pac-12 game was 633% and the ACC game was 333% better than FS1 single game on Friday night.
ESPN Leads the Way on Cable, See Growth in Multiple Windows
Led by the Trojans-Cougars, ESPN's networks earned the six highest overnights among cable networks in week 5, including earning its best afternoon overnight of the season with Vanderbilt-Florida earning a 2.0 overnight. The overnight for the Commodores-Gators matchup is up 43% over last year's comparable game (Notre Dame at Syracuse) and had a better overnight than both games on Fox.
Ole Miss at Alabama earned a 1.6 overnight and Mississippi State at Auburn had a 1.4 overnight, rounding out the SEC tripleheader on ESPN. The Rebels-Crimson Tide game was up 100% over last year's late night ESPN game (Arizona at UCLA).
Of note, Troy at LSU (7 p.m.) on ESPNU earned a 0.4 rating, tied for the eighth best rating on an ESPN cable network this week, but matches the best overnight on FS1 for the week.
Please note: Florida State at Wake Forest (2.1), and Northwestern at Wisconsin (2.0) on ABC, in addition to the aforementioned games, were among the top rated games of the weekend.
*Boise State at Nevada on Nov. 26, 2010 earned a 3.5 overnight, the best Friday night late night game on ESPN on record.