ABC’s Saturday Night Football’s featuring Notre Dame at Michigan was the most-watched Big Ten controlled game of the week across all networks.
The Fighting Irish-Wolverines averaged more than 6.7 million viewers for the one-sided Wolverines victory. In addition to airing one of the most-watched games of the day, the franchise’s audience concluded a week which ABC finished up 70% year-over-year, including increasing its audiences in each of its three game windows.
With another strong individual week performance, ESPN’s networks are up 13% for the season across all Nielsen-rated networks.
The Fighting Irish-Wolverines match-up averaged 6,754,000 viewers, driving Saturday Night Football to a 93% increase year-over-year (Texas at Oklahoma State). For the season, the franchise is up 8% year-over-year. Detroit was the top market for the rivalry game, finishing with an 18.1 local rating.
Penn State at Michigan State (3:30 p.m.) averaged 3,915,000 viewers, also up 92% year-over-year (reverse mirror games). The Big Ten match-up was the second-most watched match-up in the late afternoon.
ESPN’s presentation Washington State at Oregon (10:30 p.m.) is best among late games this year based on initial Nielsen reporting*, as the Cougars-Ducks match-up averaged 1,895,000 viewers, a 57% increase year-over year. The audience was consistent, as more than 1.9 million viewers watched the Pac-12 showcase from 11:15 p.m. to 1:45 a.m.
Buoyed by ABC’s Saturday Night Football and combined with ESPN, the two networks averaged nearly nine million viewers throughout prime-time on Saturday. Arkansas-Alabama (7 p.m.) drew 2,121,000 viewers for the SEC game alone.
College GameDay Built by The Home Depot (9 a.m. – noon) averaged 1,706,000 viewers for the complete three hour show from Brookings, SD. In the final hour, the show averaged 2,070,000 viewers.
*Among initial reporting, Washington at Stanford drew 1,879,000 viewers; Current reporting, which includes additional streaming audience, has its audience at 1,910,000.