U of M-Hosted ESPN College Gameday Sets Viewing Records; Game Off Charts Too

Below information via ESPN PR Press Release:

College GameDay Built by The Home Depot delivered its largest audience of the 2019 college football season, generating a three-hour audience of 2,280,000 viewers (9 a.m. – noon ET) for its first ever show from the University of Minnesota. College GameDay’s audience jumped to 2,892,000 in the final hour (11 a.m. – noon), the 11-time Emmy-winning pregame telecast’s most-watched final hour of the season. 

Additional College GameDay Highlights:

  • College GameDay Sets the Bar:
    • Most-watched college football pregame telecast on Saturday across any network
    • Most-watched college football pregame telecast from 11 a.m. – noon on Saturday  
  • November to Remember:
    • College GameDay averaged more than 2.1 million viewers for the fourth consecutive show, marking the first time the show has surpassed two million viewers for four consecutive weeks since expanding to three hours in 2013.

Additional Rivalry Week Highlights:
 

  • Wisconsin at Minnesota (noon, ABC): Averaged 5,033,000 viewers, a 131% year-over-year viewership gain in the game window.  
  • Virginia Tech at Virginia (Black Friday, noon, ABC): Averaged 2,844,000 viewers, propelling the window to a 69% year-over-year viewership gain in the window.  
  • Clemson at South Carolina (noon, ESPN): Averaged 1,772,000 viewers, up 129% from last year’s same game window.  
  • ESPN’s Saturday Night Games: Texas A&M at LSU (7 p.m., ESPN): averaged 2,945,000 viewers and Arizona at Arizona State (10:30 p.m., ESPN) generated 1,444,000 viewers. The Pac-12 game boosted ESPN’s viewership by 32% year-over-year in the window.  

Ole Miss at Mississippi State (Thanksgiving night, 7 p.m., ESPN): Averaged 1,351,000 viewers, up 21% from last year’s same game on Thanksgiving nightgs.

PJ Fleck got on his stump Saturday night, after a heartbreaking loss to the Wisconsin Badgers (that cost us things we don’t need to mention AGAIN), and talked about being in that spot again. He wasn’t necessarily referencing the heartbreak we were feeling, though he did say that would be part of it; but instead, he was talking about the University of Minnesota Football playing in a lot of big games, going forward. Games that mattered..

As you can see from the tweet above (and attached ESPN PR press release), ESPN and national networks around the country sure hope Fleck is right. It wasn’t just ESPN’s College Gameday that saw a spike in ratings from the host site on Saturday… no, ABC saw MASSIVE ratings for a noon (11 AM CT) window when the cameras moved to TCF Bank Stadium and watched the Badgers kick the shit out of the Gophers.

I can’t find any other games in that timeslot, for the whole season, that got over 5 million average viewers…. oh, except one. Penn State @ Minnesota earlier this season, actually beat the Minnesota vs Wisconsin game from this last Saturday. 6.73 million on-average viewers tuned into that early-November game, the most for an ABC noon-slot game in 3 years.

I went back through this year and I only see one game for ABC, that surpassed the 6.74M on-average viewers for MINvsPSU, and only found one. Oklahoma vs Baylor, a primetime Saturday night game from 2 weeks ago, reached 6.79M…. just surpassing our noon game vs Penn State.

If ESPN and ABC (same company for those who don’t know) aren’t tearing down the door to Minnesota homes next season… then they are doing their jobs wrong. Hopefully their network bias will start to turn when everyone sits down and studies these numbers too. It’d sure be nice to see a little bit of Minnesota (and a lot less of NY and LA) when I turn on SportsCenter in the morning…

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan