Irish eyes smiling on college football
Notre Dame wins a ticket to the national championship
November 26, 2012
Notre Dame’s return to prominence more than two decades after winning its last national championship should mean big ratings for the upcoming college bowl season.
The Fighting Irish closed out an undefeated regular season Saturday night on ABC in the season’s highest-rated college football game, capping a fall in which ratings grew sharply on regular carrier NBC as well.
Saturday’s 22-13 victory over USC averaged 13.9 million total viewers and a 4.4 adults 18-49 rating in primetime, according to Nielsen overnights.
Those numbers measure only timeslot data and do not account for time zone differences; the average will likely go up when final ratings are released tomorrow.
The game also averaged a 10.3 household rating, the highest for any college football game on ABC in six years, since No. 1 Ohio State and No. 2 Michigan faced off.
And it far outrated the season’s second-highest-rated game this fall, CBS’s 7.0 for the Alabama-LSU contest.
The gains came after the Fighting Irish averaged a 2.8 household rating on NBC this season, shooting up 67 percent over last year.
It was NBC’s best average for a Notre Dame season since 2006.
Though Notre Dame hasn’t won a national championship since 1988, it remains the premier brand in college football, with a storied tradition and legion of fans across the country.
It’s the only school with a network contract and the only one capably of lifting TV ratings by double-digit percentages when it plays in a postseason game.
That bodes well for ESPN, which will carry Notre Dame’s first appearance in the BCS national championship game on Jan. 7.
The Irish will play either Alabama or Georgia, who face off for the SEC title and a berth in the BCS title game this weekend. It’s a good bet that ESPN, which has only carried the BCS for two years, will set a new cable record for the championship game.
In fact, the network could even outdraw the BCS record set by Texas and USC on ABC seven years ago, a contest that averaged a 21.7 in households.
Solid bump for Fox’s ‘Bones’ on Thursday
Fox’s summer play: Keeping it real
Sponsors give FIFA a yellow card
‘Unreal,’ aptly titled and quite true
Rachel, what’s your best career advice?
Tell us, how do you rate the fall lineups?
Weekend TV: NHL playoffs heat up
Three-year high for NBA on ESPN
Hulu drops the Duggar family
Judge: Yahoo class action can proceed
New ‘Daily Show’ host will bow this fall
Fox wins night as ‘MasterChef’ rebounds
This season’s broadcast superlatives
- Sherri Goldstein becomes director of integrated strategy at Moonrocks
- Anand Kini becomes CFO at NBCUniversal
- John Verre rises to VP of automotive sales at Cablevision
- Tom Callahan becomes CFO at Reader's Digest Association
- Nicole Flatow becomes enterprise editor at Guardian U.S.
- Chris Connelly becomes interim editor in chief at Grantland
- Sean Lindsay rises to chief technology officer at Tapjoy
- Neil Janowitz becomes editorial director at Vulture.com
- John McCauley becomes VP of content and strategy at OneUp Sports
- Randy Jackson signs production deal with Endemol Shine North America
- Former head of King World Michael King dies at age 66
This week’s broadcast ratings
This week’s cable ratings
This week’s top movies, songs and books
This week’s daypart ratings
This week’s younger viewer ratings
This month’s new media traffic data
Media buyer/planner wanted in Louisville
Display media planner opening in Chicago
Media planner/buyer opening in Omaha
Assistant media planner wanted in Atlanta
Media buyer wanted in Pittsburgh