College Football Playoff National Championship Delivers Cable's Best Overnight in 12 Months
· MegaCast Presentation Earns 14.6 Overnight Despite Most-Lopsided CFP National Championship Game in the Era's History
· Ratings Followed Similar Pace to Most-Recent Alabama-Clemson CFP National Championship through Three Quarters
· New Year's Six + CFP National Championship Up 8% from Era's Second Year, Matches Third Year
The College Football Playoff National Championship between Alabama-Clemson on January 7, 2019 (8 p.m. ET) - which featured College Football Playoff's largest margin of victory for its final game ever (28 points) - delivered cable's highest overnight in 12 months (January 8, 2018 - January 7, 2019), as Clemson's victory earned a 14.6 overnight across ESPN's presentation*. The CFP National Championship rating peaked at a 16.2 overnight in the first half when the Tigers extended their lead to 15 points.
Rating Followed Similar Pace of Last Alabama-Clemson CFP National Championship through Three Quarters
Through three quarters (8:15-11:15 p.m.), last night's rating tracked similarly to Clemson and Alabama's most recent CFP National Championship game in January 2017, despite Clemson extending its lead to 28 points in the third quarter. In the 2017 game, the Tigers trailed by 10 points entering the third quarter before coming back to win in the final seconds of the game. Last night, the Tigers achieved the largest margin of victory for any college football national championship game since 2005**.
This Season's College Football Playoff Delivers Cable's Three Best Overnights in Last 12 Months
Clemson's victory concludes a 10-day period in which the College Football Playoff on ESPN delivered cable's three best overnights in the past 12 months (January 8, 2018 - January 7, 2019), despite an average margin of victory of 22 points in the three games. As a result, this season continued the trend of the College Football Playoff delivering top cable ratings each year, as this year's CFP games join last year's three games in delivering six of the last seven highest cable overnights.
New Year's Six + CFP National Championship Generates Stronger Ratings than Second Year of System, Matches Third Year
This season's New Year's Six plus the CFP National Championship averaged a 9.0 overnight, up 8% from the second year of the CFP era and matching the third year of the system - both years, like this season, in which the CFP Semifinals were not played on New Year's Day. Those previous two years also featured an Alabama-Clemson CFP National Championship game.
Birmingham is No. 1 Local Market
Birmingham led the way among local markets, with an impressive 56.6 overnight. The top 10 markets:
Rank Market Rating
1 Birmingham 56.6
2 Greenville 36.9
3 New Orleans 28.6
4 Atlanta 25.5
5 Knoxville 25.4
6 Nashville 24.3
7 Charlotte 23.4
8 Columbus, OH 23.2
9 Jacksonville 22.2
10 Tulsa 20.8
*ESPN's MegaCast Presentation offered multiple productions for the game; however, only Nielsen-rated networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, and ESPNEWS) are represented in the overnight for all years. ESPN Classic, and SEC Network are not rated and thus not accounted for in this release. Additionally, ESPN3 streaming numbers are also not accounted for here.
**2012 contest between Alabama-Notre Dame also had a 28 point margin of victory
CFP National Championship: Audience is Reported at 25.2 Million and will Continue to Grow; More Fans Watched Alabama-Clemson This Season than Same Matchup Two Seasons Ago
· MegaCast Presentation Earns Likely Top 10 Cable Audience Ever Despite Most-Lopsided National Championship Game in CFP History
· Viewership Peaked at Nearly 28 Million Viewers in First Half
· New Year's Six + CFP National Championship Up 12% from Era's Second Year
More fans tuned into last night's Alabama-Clemson College Football Playoff National Championship than the same matchup in the 2017 CFP National Championship -- despite Clemson's 28-point lopsided victory this season compared to their game-winning touchdown in the final seconds two years ago -- final initial Nielsen reported numbers are expected to show.
Alabama-Clemson on January 7, 2019 (8 p.m. ET) has generated a Nielsen reported audience of 25.2 million viewers to date as part of ESPN's MegaCast presentation*. The reported audience number at this time doesn't include a large percentage of the streaming audience (approx. 30-40%) nor any of the ESPNEWS television audience, and is already in line with the final Nielsen reported number for the aforementioned 2017 CFP National Championship game (25.3 million). The ESPNEWS audience will be available later today and full streaming information reported the week of January 14. Additionally, out-of-home viewing will also be released by Nielsen in the coming weeks, further adding to last night's reported audience number. More on Nielsen reporting structure is accessible here.
Among Cable's Most-Watched Television Programs Ever
The 2019 CFP National Championship audience is expected to be among cable's 10 highest ever once Nielsen reporting is completed.
Audience Peaks at Nearly 28 Million in the First Half
The viewership peaked at 27,839,000 million viewers in the first half as the Tigers extended their lead to 15 points.
New Year's Six + CFP National Championship Audience up 12% from Year Two
The audience for the New Year's Six + CFP National Championship has generated a Nielsen reported average of 15,413,000 which is already 12% better than the same set of games in the CFP's second year despite not having the full Nielsen reported number. In both instances, the New Year's Six and CFP National Championship followed a similar format, with the CFP Semifinals at the Orange Bowl and Cotton Bowl Classic on a non-New Year's Day date. This year, the viewership number includes new Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl CFP non-Semifinal audience highs, which occurred on New Year's Day.
ESPN Digital Platforms Up 10% Year-Over-Year on Championship Monday
On Championship Monday, 941 million minutes were consumed across ESPN Digital platforms (game and non-game), up 10% from last season's Championship Monday.
*ESPN's MegaCast Presentation offered multiple productions for the game; however, only ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU are represented above. ESPN Classic, and SEC Network are not rated and thus not accounted for in this release. ESPNEWS will be reported soon. Additionally, ESPN3 streaming numbers are also not accounted for here.