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[12/31/17 - 08:04 AM]
New Year's Six: Capital One Orange Bowl and PlayStation Fiesta Bowl Both Post Strong Ratings
ESPN spins the numbers for Saturday, December 30.

[via press release from ESPN]

New Year's Six: Capital One Orange Bowl and PlayStation Fiesta Bowl Both Post Strong Ratings

· Orange Bowl up 38% from Inaugural New Year's Six, Flat with Last Season's Epic Orange Bowl

· Fiesta Bowl up 28% from Inaugural New Year's Six, Keeps Pace with New Year's Day Fiesta Bowl in Year Two

· New Year's Six Off to Robust Start: Up 42% from System's Similar First Year

ESPN's New Year's Six telecasts continued their strong start on Saturday, Dec. 30, as the ratings for the Capital One Orange Bowl (8 p.m.) and the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl (4 p.m.) followed the trend set on Friday, Dec. 29, with the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic (8:30 p.m.), seeing significant ratings increases from the inaugural Year of the New Year's Six, which also concluded with the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual and Allstate Sugar Bowl hosting the College Football Playoff Semifinals.

Orange Bowl Continues to Deliver Thrilling Games, High Ratings

The Orange Bowl featuring Wisconsin vs. Miami earned a 6.6 overnight, up 38% from the inaugural New Year's Six Orange Bowl (2014) and was nearly flat with last season's Orange Bowl, which featured a down-to-the-wire Florida State victory over Michigan (6.7 overnight). As a result of the back-to-back years of impressive ratings, the 2017 and 2016 Orange Bowls represent the third and fourth highest-rated non-CFP Semifinals of the New Year's Six era, trailing only the two New Year's Day Rose Bowls (15 games). For the 2015 season, the Orange Bowl was a CFP Semifinal.

Milwaukee Earns No. 1 Local Market

Milwaukee was the No. 1 local market, earning a 20.6 rating. The complete Top 10:

Rank Overnight Market
1 20.6 Milwaukee
2 19.0 Columbus
3 14.9 Birmingham
4 13.2 Greenville
5 11.8 Jacksonville
6 11.6 New Orleans
7 11.3 Atlanta
8 10.8 Miami
9 10.6 Oklahoma City
10.6 Tulsa

The PlayStation Fiesta Bowl featuring Washington vs. Penn State (4 p.m.) earned an 5.9 overnight, up 28% also from inaugural New Year's Six Fiesta Bowl (2014), which was also played at 4 p.m. on a non-CFP Semifinal day (Dec. 31, 2014). This year's Fiesta Bowl rating was less than 5% off of the 2015 season's New Year's Day Fiesta Bowl featuring Ohio State and Notre Dame (6.2 overnight). For the 2016 Season, the Fiesta Bowl was a CFP Semifinal.

Columbus Becomes No. 1 Local Market for Second New Year's Six Game

Columbus was the No. 1 local market for the second consecutive New Year's Six game, after achieving the same status for the Cotton Bowl. The complete top 10 markets:

Rank Overnight Market
1 16.4 Columbus
2 15.4 Seattle
3 11.4 Birmingham
4 11.0 Dayton
5 10.9 Pittsburgh
6 9.7 Philadelphia
7 9.5 Greenville
8 9.3 New Orleans
9.3 Jacksonville
9.3 Cleveland

New Year's Six Off to Strong Start, up 42% from Inaugural Year of the System

Combined with the Cotton Bowl Classic, through the first three games of this season's New Year's Six, ESPN is averaging an 6.1 rating, up 42% from the inaugural year of the New Year's Six. The inaugural year is the only other year of the system in which the CFP Semifinals were not played within those first three games.

Columbus Sets the Pace among Local Markets for New Year's Six Games

Through three games, and on the backbone of being the No.1 local market for two of the three games, Columbus is the No. 1 local market for the New Year's Six. The complete top 10:

Rank Overnight Market
1 26.0 Columbus
2 14.9 Dayton
3 12.9 Birmingham
12.9 Cleveland
5 10.2 Greenville
6 9.5 Milwaukee
7 9.4 New Orleans
9.4 Cincinnati
9 9.3 Seattle
10 9.2 Oklahoma City

Please note: Nielsen reported numbers for all ESPN telecasts reflect TV viewing + Streaming audiences on OTT devices (such as Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, gaming consoles and smart TVs). This new system has been used since Sept. 26.

New Year's Six Continue to set New Bowl Records: Capital One Orange Bowl and PlayStation Fiesta Bowl are Most-Watched, Non-CFP Semifinal Orange and Fiesta Bowl in NY Six Era

· Orange Bowl: More than 11.7 Million Viewers, up 2% from Last Season's Epic Orange Bowl and up 31% from Year One of New Year's Six Era

· Fiesta Bowl: Over 10.1 Million Viewers, Surpasses New Year's Day Ohio State-Notre Dame Fiesta Bowl and up 37% from Inaugural New Year's Six Year

· New Year's Six: ESPN Now up 47% From Similar First Year Schedule; All Three Games are Most-Watched, Non-CFP Semifinal of Its Respective Game

This season's New Year's Six continues to set new individual New Year's Six era bowl records, as the Capital One Orange Bowl (8 p.m.) and the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl (4 p.m.) on Saturday, Dec. 30, were the most-watched non-CFP Semifinal Orange and Fiesta Bowl in the New Year's Six era based on Nielsen's Fast Nationals. The new viewership highs for the Orange and Fiesta Bowl come one day following the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic delivering the same record non-CFP Semifinal Cotton Bowl audience.

Nearly 12 Million Viewers Tune into Orange Bowl

The Orange Bowl featuring Wisconsin vs. Miami earned a Nielsen reported 11,727,000 viewers based on Fast Nationals, up 2% from last season's Orange Bowl, which featured a thrilling Florida State victory over Michigan (Dec. 30, 2016) and up 31% from the 2014 Orange Bowl (Dec. 31, 2014), the first year of the New Year's Six. The 2015 season's Orange Bowl was a CFP Semifinal.

Washington-Penn State Fiesta Bowl Outdraws New Year's Day Ohio State-Notre Dame Fiesta Bowl

The PlayStation Fiesta Bowl between Washington and Penn State earned 10,167,000 viewers, up 4% from the 2015 season, New Year's Day Fiesta Bowl which featured Notre Dame and Ohio State. The audience for the Nittany Lions' victory was also up 37% from the 2014 Fiesta Bowl (Dec. 31, 2014).

Orange Bowl and Fiesta Bowl Rank Among Most-Watched Non-CFP Semifinals in New Year's Six Era

This year's Orange Bowl is the third most-watched non-CFP Semifinal game of the New Year's Six era, trailing only the two New Year's Day Rose Bowl games. The Huskies-Nittany Lions Fiesta Bowl is the fifth most-watched game in the same category:

Most-Watched Non-CFP Semifinal Games of New Year's Six Era

Rank Viewership Date Matchup Network Game

1 15,740,000 Jan 2, 2017 USC vs. Penn State ESPN Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual

2 13,552,000 Jan 1, 2016 Stanford vs. Iowa ESPN Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual

3 11,727,000 Dec. 30, 2017 Wisconsin vs. Miami ESPN Capital One Orange Bowl

4 11,461,000 Dec. 30, 2016 Michigan vs. Florida State ESPN Capital One Orange Bowl

5 10,167,000 Dec. 30, 2017 Washington vs. Penn State ESPN PlayStation Fiesta Bowl

All audiences numbers are Nielsen-reported

New Year's Six Viewership Now up 47%

Now, halfway through the New Year's Six, ESPN is averaging 10,436,000 viewers a game, up 47% from the inaugural year of the New Year's Six - the only other year of the system in which the CFP Semifinals were not played within those first three games. In addition to the massive audiences for both the Orange and Fiesta Bowl, the Cotton Bowl delivered a similar impressive audience of 9,468,000 viewers for Ohio State's lop-sided victory over USC (Dec. 29, 8:30 p.m.)

ESPN's Coverage of the New Year's Six Continues New Year's Day with Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and CFP Semifinals

ESPN's coverage of the New Year's Six continues on New Year's Day with the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl between No. 7 Auburn and No. 12 UCF (12:30 p.m.), as well as both College Football Playoff Semifinals: The Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual between No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 3 Georgia (5 p.m.) and the Allstate Sugar Bowl featuring No. 1 Clemson vs. No. 4 Alabama (8:45 p.m.). All New Year's Six games are on televised on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and broadcast on ESPN Radio.ESPN will cover the CFP Semifinals with the MegaCast production, with complete details here.

New Year's Day will also feature the Outback Bowl between Michigan and South Carolina (noon, ESPN2) and the Citrus Bowl Presented by Overton's featuring No. 14 Notre Dame vs. No. 17 LSU (1 p.m., ABC).

Please note: Nielsen reported numbers for all ESPN telecasts reflect TV viewing + Streaming audiences on OTT devices (such as Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, gaming consoles and smart TVs). This new system has been used since Sept. 26.





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