Clemson-OSU delivers huge TV ratings


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Fuller was impressive at the 2016 Fiesta Bowl
Fuller was impressive at the 2016 Fiesta Bowl

The College Football Playoff Semifinals (December 31, 2016 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on ESPN and ESPN2) ratings were up double digits from last season, delivered year-over-year overnight growth in both games and set new streaming records.

College Football Playoff Semifinals Increase Overnight and Streaming Audience

The College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl between Washington and Alabama (December 31 at 3 p.m.) delivered a 11.5 overnight (ESPN and ESPN2) and streaming added an additional average minute audience of 470,000 viewers with 1,378,000 unique viewers watching a total of 96,860,000 minutes. The overnight for the Crimson Tide’s 24-7 victory is up 17% from last season’s College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl between Clemson and Oklahoma which also aired on both ESPN and ESPN2 in the afternoon on December 31 (4 p.m.). The streaming audience was up 57%, 16% and 40%, respectively, in average minute audience, unique viewers and total minutes watched from last year’s Tigers-Sooners game.

The College Football Playoff Semifinal at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl between Ohio State and Clemson (December 31 at 7 p.m.) delivered a 10.5 overnight (ESPN and ESPN2) and streaming added an additional average minute audience of 410,000 viewers with 1,174,000 unique viewers watching a total of 86,075,000 minutes. The overnight for the Tigers’ 31-0 lopsided victory is up 5% from last season’s College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic between Michigan State and Alabama which also aired on ESPN and ESPN2 in primetime on December 31 (8 p.m.). The streaming audience also saw increases in all key metrics -- up 29%, 12%, and 32% respectively, in average minute audience, unique viewers and total minutes watched -- from last year’s Spartans-Crimson Tide game.
Solely on ESPN, both games also saw overnight increases. The Huskies-Crimson Tide overnight earned a 10.9 overnight, up 12% from last year’s first semifinal (9.7) and the Buckeyes-Tigers earned a 10.0 overnight on ESPN, up from last year’s Spartans-Crimson Tide game (9.9).

ESPN Sets New College Football Playoff Streaming Records

The streaming average minute audience for the Peach Bowl and the Fiesta Bowl set new records, as they are the most-streamed College Football Playoff Semifinals ever, which also makes them the most-streamed New Year’s Six and non-Championship college football games ever on ESPN.

College Football Playoff Semifinals: Doubleheader Also Up Year-Over-Year in Overnight and Streaming Audience
Together, the semifinals averaged an 11.0 overnight (ESPN and ESPN2), up 11% from last year’s semifinals on the same two networks. On ESPN alone, the doubleheader averaged a 10.4 overnight, up 6% from last year’s doubleheader (9.8). The streaming average minute audience for the two games averaged 440,000 viewers, up 41% from last year (313,000 viewers).

New Year’s Six Off to Fast Start

Combined with the Capital One Orange Bowl (December 30), the New Year’s Six is off to a terrific start, averaging an overnight of 9.4 for all three games (ESPN and ESPN2) and a streaming average audience of 370,000 viewers, up 22% and 49%, respectively, to last season’s first three games of the New Year’s Six (December 31), which also included both semifinal games.

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