College Football Week 12: ABC Televises Three Highest-Rated Games, Sets a Multi-Year Overnight High in Noon ET Window; ESPN Tops the Cable Charts
· Ohio State-Maryland: Strong 4.1 Overnight, Best Noon ET Game on ESPN/ABC since 2016; Game Peaks at an Impressive 6.3 Overnight
· West Virginia-Oklahoma State: Leads the Way in Crowded 3:30 p.m. Game Window
· ABC's Saturday Night Football Cincinnati-UCF: Best in Primetime; Orlando Market Delivers for SNF and College GameDay Built by The Home Depot
ABC and ESPN carried the day across all networks in college football's week 12, as ABC aired the three highest-rated games overall and ESPN aired the highest-rated game on cable. ABC's success was evident throughout all of Saturday, Nov. 17, as the network delivered the highest-rated game in each of its game windows (noon, 3:30 p.m. and primetime), including delivering ESPN/ABC's highest-rated noon window since 2016.
Ohio State-Maryland: Highest-Rated Game of the Week; Game Surpasses 6.0 Overnight for More than 45 Minutes
ABC's telecast of Ohio State at Maryland (noon ET) was the highest-rated game of the day, delivering a 4.1 overnight for the game and surpassing a 6.0 overnight for the game's dramatic finish (3:30-4:15 p.m.). The 4.1 rating for the Buckeyes' overtime victory is ESPN/ABC's best for a noon game since Michigan-Ohio State in November of 2016.
· Significantly Up Year-Over-Year: The high-scoring Big Ten game resulted in ABC being up 58% year-over-year from the similar game window last season (Virginia at Miami).
· Rating Peaks as Drama Ensues: ABC's rating continued to gain momentum throughout the dramatic second half, as noted above, including a peak rating of 6.3 from 3:30-3:45 p.m.
· Columbus Leads Among Local Markets: Columbus was the No. 1 local market, delivering a 35.0 overnight. The top ten markets:
Rank Local Rating Market
1 35.0 Columbus, OH
2 20.2 Dayton
3 18.6 Cleveland
4 10.0 Cincinnati
5 9.1 Oklahoma City
6 8.4 Tulsa
7 5.9 Washington, DC
8 5.6 Baltimore
9 5.4 Indianapolis
10 5.2 Greenville
ABC Out-Rates All of the Competition in Crowded 3:30 p.m. Window; Grows its Own Ratings Year-Over-Year
ABC continued its success with West Virginia at Oklahoma State (3:30 p.m.), as the Big 12 game earned a 2.6 overnight and propelled the network to a 18% growth year-over-year from the network's similar game last season (Illinois at Ohio State). The rating for the Cowboys' come-from-behind victory surpassed all the competition in the same game window, including the three other broadcast network competitors by 100%, 63%, and 30%, respectively.
ABC's Saturday Night Football Leads the Way in Primetime
ABC's Saturday Night Football featuring Cincinnati at UCF (8 p.m.) was the highest-rated primetime game of the week, delivering a 2.3 overnight. The rating for the Knights' 23rd consecutive win topped the broadcast competition by 15%, leading to ABC/ESPN earning the highest-rated primetime game in the sport for the 10th time in 12 weeks this season.
Orlando and Cincinnati were the two highest-rated markets for SNF, delivering an 11.1 and 10.6 respectively. In Orlando, the local rating is the market's best for a ESPN/ABC game this season. In Cincinnati, the local rating notably surpassed the market's rating for the Ohio State game earlier in the day.
ESPN Airs Highest-Rated Game on Cable; ESPN/ESPN2 Pepper the Top of the Charts
ESPN led the way on cable, as Duke at Clemson (7 p.m.) earned a 1.5 overnight, cable's highest-rated game of week 12. Overall, ESPN and ESPN2 combined to air 10 out of the top 11 games on cable for the week.
College GameDay Built by The Home Depot Up Year-Over-Year; Orlando Rates at a Near Record High
College GameDay Built by The Home Depot (9 a.m. - noon) delivered a 1.4 overnight for its first ever show from Orlando, Fla., up 8% from the week 12 show last year. In Orlando, College GameDay earned a 3.9 overnight, tying as the market's best rating for the premier pre-game show since 2010.
Ohio State-Maryland is Most-Watched College Football Game of Week 12; Audience Peaks at More Than Nine Million throughout Fourth Quarter and Overtime
· Buckeyes-Terrapins is ABC/ESPN's Most-Watched Noon ET Game in Nearly Two Years; ABC Up 65% Year-Over-Year
· ABC Airs Most-Watched Game in 3:30 p.m. and Primetime Windows Too; 'Wins-the-Night' Among All Networks - Sports and Non-Sports
· ESPN Airs Cable's Most-Watched Game of the Week for 12th Time in 12 Weeks
ABC and ESPN led the way among college football telecasts in week 12, as ABC aired the three most-watched games across all networks and ESPN televised the most-watched game on cable. ABC also set multi-year highs across ESPN/ABC in their noon ET window, while simultaneously airing the most-watched telecast of the day on any network (sports and non-sports) in key male demos. The significant day for the network continued into prime-time, as ABC's Saturday Night Football 'won the night' among all networks - both broadcast and cable - in multiple key demos.
Ohio State-Maryland: Among the Few College Football Games to Spike at More Than 9 Million Viewers This Season
ABC's Ohio State at Maryland telecast (noon ET) was the most-viewed college football game of the week, drawing a total live audience of 5,685,000 viewers, spiking at more than nine million viewers for approximately 40 minutes while the Buckeyes and Terrapins played into the fourth quarter and overtime (3:30-4:08 p.m.) The game's highest audience was reached during the overtime period, as an average of 9.2 million viewers tuned in (4-4:08 p.m.). The Big Ten game audience is among just the few college football games this season to have a peak audience surpass the nine million-viewer threshold.
Multi-Year High, Most-Watched Telecast in Key Male Demos among Additional Ohio State-Maryland Superlatives
· Multi-Year High: The audience of 5.7 million viewers results in the most-watched noon ET game on ESPN/ABC since November 2016
· Audience Up Significantly: ABC's audience was up 65% from the same game window last season (Virginia at Miami)
· Most-Watched Among Key Demos: Game was the most-viewed telecast of the day -- sports and non-sports -- among males 18-34, 18-49, 25-54 and persons 18-34.
· Topping the Competition: The significant audience was 122% better than the broadcast competition airing college football at the same time
· Among The Best Audiences: The game ranks among the most-watched of the season. Now, season to date, ABC/ESPN have aired seven of the 13 most-watched games across all networks.
West Virginia-Oklahoma State: Most-Viewed Late Afternoon Game Across All Networks; Leads ABC to 19% Year-Over-Year Gain
ABC's West Virginia at Oklahoma State game (3:30 p.m.) delivered a total live audience of 3,948,000 viewers, college football's second most-watched game of the day across all networks, providing ABC a 19% increase in audience from the comparable window last season (Illinois at Ohio State).
For ABC, the Mountaineers-Cowboys game ranks as ABC's most-viewed late afternoon window since the opening week of the season and topped the broadcast competition in the same window by 97%, 93%, and 36%, respectively.
ABC's Saturday Night Football Caps a Significant Day of College Football Programming from UCF
ABC/ESPN continued its season-long prime-time success this week, as ABC's Saturday Night Football delivered the most-watched game of the night when Cincinnati at UCF (8 p.m.) earned a total live audience of 3,124,000 viewers. The airing of the American Athletic game marks the 10th time this season ESPN/ABC has aired the most-watched primetime game in the sport.
The AAC showdown also led ABC to 'win the night' among all key male and adult demos (males 18-34, 18-49, 25-54, and persons 18-34, 18-49, 25-54). The prime-time game bookended a day in Orlando, Fla., which began with College GameDay Built by The Home Depot (9 a.m.- noon) from the UCF campus, which drew 1,904,000 viewers across ESPN and ESPNU while also delivering a significant rating in the Knights' home market.
ESPN Airs Most-Watched Cable Game for 12th Time in 12 Weeks
ESPN's prime-time telecast of Duke at Clemson (7 p.m.) drew a Nielsen total live audience of 2,452,000 viewers, the most-watched cable telecast of the week. Now, 12 weeks into the season, ESPN has televised the most-watched cable game in each week of the season.