Georgia’s blowout win over TCU draws the lowest CFP championship game attendance since the BCS era

ESPN networks averaged 17.2 million Monday night viewers for Georgia’s overwhelming victory over TCU in the CFP national championship game, ESPN announced Tuesday, marking the least watched CFP championship game since the BCS era began in 1999. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Ahead of Monday’s game, Alabama vs. Ohio State was the least-watched national championship of the CFP or BCS era in 2021, with 18.65 million viewers, according to Sports Media Watch.
  • Georgia’s 65 points Monday was the most in a BCS/CFP title game. It was the biggest blowout by an AP Top 3 team ever. The Bulldogs’ 58-point win is the biggest win in FBS Bowl history.
  • According to ESPN, the playoffs, which featured three games of the Peach Bowl, Fiesta Bowl and national championship, averaged 20.6 million viewers, up 9 percent from last year.

backstory

Although Georgia lost 15 players from last year’s team in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Bulldogs finished the regular season a perfect 13-0. They defeated LSU 50-30 to win the SEC championship and made the college football playoffs in 1st place.

The Bulldogs made a 14-point comeback in the fourth quarter, beating Ohio State 42-41 in the Peach Bowl and advancing to the national championship game. With Georgia’s loss to TCU, the Bulldogs have four college football national championships in program history.

Which led to the record low viewership

Many factors determine viewership of live sports — the importance of the game, the teams, the star players involved, storylines, competition on other channels, start time, and whether it’s a thriller or a dud.

Monday night quickly proved to be a one-sided affair, with many viewers abandoning ESPN’s 100-camera multiplatform MegaCast when it was clear fairly early on that the Bulldogs would win in a historic loss. While Georgia devotees have stayed for obvious reasons, the casual fans with no vested interest in rooting or gambling seem to have been looking for better entertainment options.

The game has also faced the chaotic headwinds of the TV industry: Fewer people are watching TV overall and more than 30 million US homes have ditched cable, while streaming hasn’t caught up the difference. Still, despite poor viewership, the game will have been Monday’s most-watched program and should win most of the advertisers’ key demographics. β€” shea

Would different teams have made a difference?

Monday night’s record-low TV average certainly feeds a “what if” question: How many people would have been watching if the states of Michigan and Ohio had instead met for a primetime rematch?

Their semifinals the week before were both thrilling games to the end. The old Big Ten foes have arguably college football’s biggest and most famous rivalry, and the Wolverines’ second-half takedown by the scoring Buckeyes in November gave the sport its best-ever audience of the 2022 regular season at 17 million viewers — a record for Fox and a total that ended just ahead of Monday’s national title game.

The 2020-21 championship game between Ohio State and Alabama also ended with a lower viewership average than the semifinals, with the Natty averaging 18.65 million viewers while the Crimson Tide beat Notre Dame and the Buckeyes averaged 18.89 million viewers at the Rose Bowl and Clemson in the semifinals, Sugar Bowl defeated an average of 19.14 million.

The 2021-22 season culminated with Georgia beating Alabama with 22.6 million viewers on ESPN. β€” shea

required reading

(Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea / USA Today)

https://theathletic.com/4078542/2023/01/10/georgia-tcu-college-football-championship-viewership/ Georgia’s blowout win over TCU draws the lowest CFP championship game attendance since the BCS era

Russell Falcon

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