College Ratings Roundup: Notre Dame-Michigan Hits 16-Year High

Despite neither team’s being ranked, Michigan’s dramatic 28-24 victory over archrival Notre Dame on NBC Sept. 3 drew a 4.5 final rating and seven million viewers. It was the network’s highest-rated Notre Dame telecast since 2006 and the most-viewed since 2005. It was the most-viewed Michigan-Notre Dame game on NBC since 1994 and the 12th-most-viewed Notre Dame telecast ever on NBC. The telecast was up 67% in rating and 75% in viewership from a 2.7 and 4.001 million, respectively, for last year’s Notre Dame-Michigan showdown. It also ranks as the most-viewed NBC Irish telecast to involve two unranked teams.

The game handily outdrew ESPN’s faceoff between Miami and Ohio State (both of which were ranked), which aired at the same time and posted a 3.5 rating and 5.752 million viewers.

Alabama destroyed Penn State on Saturday night and  and drew a 4.2 U.S. rating and 7.124 million viewers on ESPN. Although that is down 33% in ratings and viewership from last year’s USC-Ohio State game (6.3, 10.586 million), that early-season 2009 showdown was the most-viewed college-football telecast in the history of ESPN (which the Boise State-Virginia Thursday-night opener tied with a 7.3 rating and surpassed with 7.252 million households).

The biggest loser on Saturday afternoon was ABC, which limped to a 2.1 rating for regional coverage that was headlined by a one-sided Oklahoma victory over Florida State.

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