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[10/08/17 - 08:16 AM]
ABC's "Saturday Night Football": Michigan State at Michigan Is Highest-Rated Game of Week 6 Across All Networks
ESPN spins the numbers for Saturday, October 7.

[via press release from ESPN]

ABC'S Saturday Night Football: Michigan State at Michigan is Highest-Rated Game of Week 6 Across All Networks

· SNF Beats Fox by 179% in Prime Time, Grows Year-Over-Year Audience

· Detroit Earns Second Best Local Rating on Record for the Spartans-Wolverines Matchup on ESPN/ABC

· Alabama at Texas A&M: ESPN's Highest-Rated Saturday Game in 2017 Season

ABC's Saturday Night Football featuring Michigan State at Michigan (7:30 p.m. ET) earned a 3.9 Nielsen overnight, the highest-rated college football game of week 6 across all networks. The overnight for the Big Ten rivalry game was 179% higher than Fox's prime time game and 95% and 86%, respectively, higher than Fox's afternoon games, while also earning a 44% better rating than CBS.

For the sixth time in the six weeks of the college football season, Saturday Night Football will be the most-watched prime time game of the week when viewership is reported on Tuesday. Additional highlights:

· SNF Ratings Grow: The Spartans' 14-10 victory is up 22% from last year's Saturday Night Football contest. Now, six weeks into the season, the franchise has seen year-over-year increases in five of those weeks.

· Michigan's Last Minute Drive Peaks Ratings: As Michigan drove for a potential game-winning touchdown, the rating peaked for the game at a 5.5 overnight (11-11:15 p.m.)

· Detroit Tunes In: Detroit was the No. 1 local market, with an impressive 28.4 rating. The local number is the market's second best on record for a Michigan State-Michigan matchup on an ESPN network, trailing only the 2013 matchup (29.2) The complete top 5 local markets for the 2017 game are:

Rank Rating Market
1 28.4 Detroit
2 16.1 Columbus
3 9.2 Dayton
4 6.1 Cincinnati
5 6.0 Cleveland

ESPN Leads the Way on Cable; Alabama-Texas A&M Ties as Second Highest Game Across All Networks

Alabama at Texas A&M (7:15 p.m.) drew a 2.7 Nielsen overnight, tying as both the second-highest overnight of the week across all networks and as the best overnight for an SEC game in week 6. The overnight for the Crimson Tide victory outdrew all seven games on Fox Sports networks in week 6 and was ESPN's best overnight for a Saturday game this season (22 games). The matchup was also up 13% from last year's similar game, which featured Alabama at Arkansas.

Led by the Crimson Tide-Aggies, all four games that aired on ESPN on Saturday were the highest-rated cable games of week 6. Miami at FSU (3:30 p.m. on ESPN), earned a 2.0 Nielsen rating for the game and peaked at a 3.9 Nielsen overnight as the Hurricanes were driving and scored the game winning touchdown (7:15 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.). Georgia vs. Vanderbilt (noon on ESPN) earned a 1.3 overnight, up 30% from last year's similar game (Auburn vs. Mississippi State) and Cal vs. Washington earned a 1.1 overnight, flat with last year's same game (Washington State vs. Stanford).

ESPN announced a new reporting system, which began on Sept. 25. More details are here.

Local ratings date back to 2001

ABC's Saturday Night Football: Michigan State at Michigan Delivers More than 6.6 Million Viewers, Most-Watched Game of Week 6 across All Networks; ESPN Airs Second-Most Watched Game

· ESPN/ABC: Beats Competition Three Out of Four Game Windows on Saturday; Airs Four of Five Most-Watched Games Overall

· Alabama at Texas A&M: Second Most-Watched Game of Week 6; Cable's Most-Watched Saturday Game This Season

ESPN's networks were home to college football's biggest audiences in week 6, led by ABC televising the most-watched game of the week across all networks and ESPN airing the second most-watched game. While both of the highest audiences of the week were in prime-time, ESPN's networks also televised the most-watched noon and late-night game as well across all networks. Overall, ESPN's networks aired four of the five most-watched games across all networks.

ABC and ESPN Lead the Way in Week 6; Both Increase Audiences in Prime-Time

ABC's Saturday Night Football featuring Michigan State at Michigan (7:30 p.m.) earned a total live audience of 6,628,000 viewers, college football's most-watched game of week 6. In the same prime-time window, ESPN's telecast of Alabama at Texas A&M (7:15 p.m.) earned a Nielsen total live audience of 4,774,000 viewers, the second most-watched game of week 6 across all networks.

The more than 6.6 million viewers that witnessed the Spartans' victory was 18% higher than SNF last season's week 6 game (Florida State at Miami), while the audience on ESPN for Alabama's win was up 7% from the network's equivalent game last season, which featured Alabama at Arkansas. ABC's SNF audience outdrew Fox by 245% in prime-time, while ESPN's audience outdrew Fox by 148%.

ABC's Saturday Night Football Continues 2017 Season Success; Helps ABC Win the Night Across All Networks

Saturday Night Football has been the most-watched prime-time game each week of the 2017 college football season and the most-watched game of the week five of six weeks. Additionally, for sixth consecutive week of the college football season, SNF has helped ABC win the night among households, viewers and all key male and adult demos (M18-34, M18-49, M25-54, P18-34, P18-49 and P25-54).

Additional Week 6 SNF Highlights:

· Among Most-Viewed Games of the Season: The Big Ten rivalry game is the fourth most-watched college football game this season across all networks, with each of the four airing on ABC.

· Michigan's Final Drive Peaks Audience: The television audience peaked at 8,858,000 viewers as Michigan was driving for a potential game-winning touchdown (11 - 11:15 p.m.).

· Detroit Draws Big Local Ratings: The rivalry game was one of the highest ever in Detroit, which was documented on Sunday morning.

ABC Televises Most-Watched Noon Game; ESPN Airs Most-Viewed Late Night Game

Penn State at Northwestern (noon on ABC) had a total live audience of 2,887,000 viewers, the most-watched noon telecast across all networks while California at Washington (10:45 p.m.) earned a Nielsen total live audience of 1,634,000 viewers, the most-viewed late night game across all networks. Miami at Florida State (3:30 p.m. on ESPN) earned Nielson total live audience of 2,726,000 viewers, the second most-watched late afternoon game across all networks.

Please note: Georgia at Vanderbilt (Noon on ESPN) had 1,958,000 viewers, an increase over last season's similar telecast (Auburn at Mississippi State).

ESPN introduced a new reporting structure on Sept. 25, with more details available here. Of note, Nielsen's reported numbers now reflect a portion of the streaming audience for ESPN and ESPN2. For ABC, ESPN's internal streaming numbers are used to generate a total live audience.





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· SATURDAY NIGHT COLLEGE FOOTBALL (ABC)





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