It does not happen often, but it happened last weekend.
Clemson’s win over Notre Dame in last week’s ACC Championship Game set a ratings high for a second time this year, while the Alabama-Florida matchup in the SEC’s title game was its lowest rated game in 14 years.
The Tigers’ 34-10 victory over Notre Dame in the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte drew a 5.5 rating according to the Nielsen ratings. The game had 9.92 million viewers for ABC, making it the highest rated and second most watched game of the season.
The rematch between Clemson and Notre Dame drew a higher rating than their Nov. 7 thriller in South Bend when the Irish won in double overtime. That came drew a 5.4 rating. However, pending any more updates from conference championship weekend, the Nov. 7 meeting is still the most watched game in 2020, as 10.07 million people watched the NBC telecast.
The SEC Championship Game was its least watched championship game since 2007. This year’s game declined 35 percent in viewership and 38 percent in ratings. This year’s game drew a 4.9 rating and had 8.92 million watching as Alabama outlasted Florida, 52-46, on CBS.
The SEC Championship Game ranks as the fourth most watched game this year, behind the two Clemson-Notre Dame matchups and the Crimson Tide’s win over Georgia earlier this year, which drew a 5.3 and 9.61 million.
The Big Ten’s Championship Game between Ohio State and Northwestern was also down from last year, as it averaged 8.03 million on Fox. Its 4.65 rating was its lowest rating and viewership since 2014. Last year’s Big Ten title game drew a 7.6 rating and had 13.5 million people watching.
In all, viewership for college football has been down this season, as only five games have cracked a 4.0 or better rating or had seven million or more viewers. In 2019, 14 games had a 4.0 or higher rating and 12 had more than seven million viewers.
ESPN will broadcast the College Football Playoff on New Year’s Day as No. 1 Alabama takes on No. 4 Notre Dame (4 p.m.) in the Rose Bowl, while No. 2 Clemson plays No. 4 Ohio State (8 p.m.) in the Sugar Bowl.
The 2021 CFP National Championship Game will be televised on Jan. 11 at 8 p.m., and will also be on ESPN.
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