Ratings Roundup: Notre Dame-USC Hands ABC Biggest College Football Rating Since 2006; Grey Cup Draws Largest Audience Ever on TSN

Compiled by Jason Dachman, Managing Editor, SVG

The final numbers are in for No. 1 Notre Dame’s regular season finale against rival USC, and they are very, very good. The game marks ABC’s Most-Viewed Regular-Season College Football Game since 2006, averaging 16,059,000 viewers and a 9.4 rating.

The Notre Dame victory is ABC’s most-viewed regular-season college football game since November 18, 2006, when No. 2 Michigan at No. 1 Ohio State averaged 21,037,000 viewers and a 13.0 rating. The broadcast is also the fifth most-viewed regular-season college football game among all networks since at least 1991 (ratings prior to 1991 are not available) and the most-viewed game not involving a matchup between the nation’s top two teams.The game is ABC’s most-viewed and highest-rated regular-season Saturday night college football telecast since 1991.

In addition, ABC posted the second most-viewed and highest-rated college football game of the weekend, averaging 8,466,000 viewers and a 5.1 rating for its Saturday afternoon broadcast of then-No. 4 Florida defeating then-No. 10 Florida State 37-26. The final rating for ABC’s noon telecast of Michigan at Ohio State, which averaged a 6.3 metered market rating, will be available Friday morning…

…The 100th Grey Cup delivered an average audience of 5.5 million viewers on TSN, making it the most-watched CFL championship game ever recorded on English-language television. On TSN and RDS (French language), an average audience of 5.8 million watched the game, marking a 28% increase in viewers compared to last year and earning a national 16.1 rating. Overall, more than 13 million Canadians – or more than one in three Canadians – tuned in to watch some or all of last night’s broadcast on TSN and RDS.

Meanwhile, the Vanier Cup on Friday delivered a record-setting average audience of 910,000 viewers on TSN and RDS, making it the most watched CIS game in history…

The football fiesta that is Thanksgiving Day turned in a mix bag in the ratings game:

  • NBC’s first ever Thanksgiving night game, in which the Patriots defeated the Jets in a 49-19 blowout, drew a 10.1/20 household rating/share and 19.2 million viewers, the highest-rated and most-watched Thanksgiving night game ever. The household rating of 10.1 and 19.2 million viewers is up 91% and 79%, respectively, from last year’s primetime Thanksgiving night game on NFL Network (5.3/10, 10.7 million viewers).
  • CBS’s Texans/Lions NFL game took the cake – er turkey in this case – with 15.2 overnight rating, the third-highest for an NFL game on Thanksgiving Day dating back to 1998, trailing only both games last year. In addition, the 15.2 is the second-highest for a Thanksgiving Day game on CBS over that same span.
  • Fox’s Washington/Dallas game drew a 14.5 overnight rating on FOX Thanksgiving Day, down 5% from Dolphins/Cowboys on CBS last year (15.3). The 14.5 overnight is the lowest for a Thanksgiving Day game on CBS or FOX since 2009. Still, the 14.5 is the sixth-highest overnight for an NFL game on Thanksgiving since 1998…

As for the Sunday NFL action:

  • The Giants blowout win over the Packers on Sunday on NBC drew 20.9 million viewers, up 3% from last year’s Week 12 SNF game (20.3 million for Steelers-Chiefs). The household rating of 12.6/19 for Sunday’s game is up 2% from last year’s Week 12 SNF game (12.3/19). The game marked the second-best Week 12 game in the seven-year history of Sunday Night Football on NBC.
  • Monday Night Football’s lowly Panthers-Eagles matchup earned a 7.8 overnight rating on ESPN — down 22% from Giants/Saints last year (10.0). The 7.8 ranks as the third-lowest “MNF” overnight of the season, ahead of only Chargers/Raiders in Week 1 (7.9) and Lions/Bears in Week 7 (7.3).
  • The NFL national window, featuring 49ers/Saints in 93% of markets, earned a 16.5 overnight rating on FOX Sunday afternoon — up 6% from coverage featuring Patriots/Eagles on CBS last year (15.6). The 16.5 overnight is the third-best of the season for the NFL national window, and is tied as the season’s fourth-best NFL overnight overall.
  • The NFL singleheader window earned a 10.5 overnight rating on CBS Sunday afternoon, down 10% from coverage featuring Bears/Raiders on FOX last year (11.7)…

…The Nov. 20 Nets-Lakers game (10 pm ET start) was the most-watched (125,000 average TV HHs) and highest-rated (1.69 average TV HH rating) regular season Nets telecast on YES in almost seven years (YES’ February 1, 2006 Nets-Cavaliers telecast averaged 134,000 TV HHs and a 1.82 TV HH rating).  It was the third-most-watched and third-highest-rated Nets telecast on YES ever (the February 29, 2004 Nets-Lakers telecast, which averaged 139,000 TV HHs and a 1.89 TV HH rating, is first).

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