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Tide-Irish title game falls far short of ratings record

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Thanks to the presence of two iconic football programs, it was thought that the Alabama-Notre Dame BCS championship could possibly set television viewership records.

It sets up really remarkable possibilities,” Burke Magnus, ESPN‘s senior vice president for college sports programming, told the Associated Press a couple of days before the title tilt.

Thanks to the Tide’s woodshedding of the Irish, it couldn’t even match the numbers from a couple of years ago.

The overnight TV numbers are in, and the Tide-Irish matchup on ESPN drew a respectable 15.7 overnight rating, peaking at 18.2 in the first half as the Tide rolled to a 28-0 lead.  While the overall numbers were up 14 percent from Alabama’s rout of LSU last year — the lowest of the BCS era — it was far off the record 21.7 overnight rating pulled in by the Texas-USC instant classic following the 2005 season.

Hell, it couldn’t even best the 16.1 rating for Auburn-Oregon after the 2010 season, the first title game that wasn’t broadcast on network television.  In fairness, no other title game has come close to matching that perfect storm of numbers thrown out there by Texas-USC, either; Florida State-Oklahoma at a 17.8 following the 2000 season was the next highest.

The Associated Press notes “[o]vernight ratings measure the country’s largest markets” and that “ESPN expected full viewership numbers later Tuesday” so there could be some upward tweaking of the numbers.

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29 Responses to “Tide-Irish title game falls far short of ratings record”
  1. lsuzilla says: Jan 8, 2013 11:21 AM

    Everyone knew Bama was going to win. ND played one good team all year (Stanford) and won that game due to a bad call by the Refs.

  2. burgundyandgold says: Jan 8, 2013 11:21 AM

    Why watch when everyone knew it was the equal of the varsity team playing the freshman team. It was a joke that ND was in the title game. Playoff will certainly help.

  3. deadeye says: Jan 8, 2013 11:26 AM

    Blowout championship games are the best argument for a playoff system. Imagine if Ohio State had gone undefeated WITHOUT sanctions. It would have been OSU and ND for all the marbles, with Bama sitting at home watching.

  4. scoops1 says: Jan 8, 2013 11:26 AM

    Not everyone has cable. Maybe if Espn had aired the game ABC, ratings would have higher

  5. 8to80texansblog says: Jan 8, 2013 11:33 AM

    The game was pathetic… Over by the first quarter…

    Wonder what the ratings were after halftime.. 35-0 loses casual fans and even some die hard CFB fans without a horse in the race.

    I turned it off..

  6. cowboycjn says: Jan 8, 2013 11:33 AM

    Totally out of their class- ND looked really bad and Bama was in control the whole game.
    Was not worthy of a championship game.

  7. be4bama says: Jan 8, 2013 11:36 AM

    As a BAMA fan……the game was very exciting……ROLL TIDE ROLL#15

  8. mungman69 says: Jan 8, 2013 11:59 AM

    Ohio St. vs. Notre Dame= God ugly!

  9. be4bama says: Jan 8, 2013 12:03 PM

    Mung, OSU vs ND = BEATDOWN 2

  10. be4bama says: Jan 8, 2013 12:05 PM

    Who’s was more overrated? USC preseason or ND post season (prior to BCS NC Game)?

  11. timb12 says: Jan 8, 2013 12:18 PM

    Casual fans don’t want to watch a defensive battle. And that’s what this game was marketed as, the #1 and #2 defenses squaring off. The people who do like defensive games probably turned it off when it turned into a blowout. It makes sense.

  12. volfan2012 says: Jan 8, 2013 12:24 PM

    @be4bama 15 what? Do you mean 10?

  13. BigBeachBall says: Jan 8, 2013 12:38 PM

    We cant let ND get title shots anymore…. That was disgraceful.

  14. melikefootball says: Jan 8, 2013 12:42 PM

    First of many get tired of the mestic arounf the Irish, many felt they di not deserve to be there even not losing. Some as well get tired of ESPN blowing their horn on the SEC as well as each week nby announcers in the booth. Also hard to figure you have a #1 ranked team a 9 point under dog.

  15. richatthelake says: Jan 8, 2013 12:47 PM


    The Texas-USC classic was after the 2005 season, not ’06

  16. mogogo1 says: Jan 8, 2013 12:55 PM

    Two things contributed to the poor ratings, I suspect:

    1. Outside of Alabama fans, people are kind of tired of Alabama in the championship game. They’re capable of totally dominating a game and winning 21-0. They’re awesome, but not so flashy you just have to see them win.

    2. I don’t know a single person who thought this would be a close game. At least among my friends, the nearest predictions to it being close I heard was “ND will keep it close for a half” and “Alabama by 10.”

  17. thefiesty1 says: Jan 8, 2013 1:03 PM

    Well Duh! It was over in the first quarter after that blown call.

  18. mountaineer50415 says: Jan 8, 2013 1:10 PM

    You all think it was bad watching that on television. How would you feel if you had paid 8,500 dollars for a ticket to root for Notre Dame?????
    I would be just fine as an Alabama fan. I loved it. Would not have been happy if Bama hadn’t done what they did.
    Now just maybe, Lou and Mark can stop screaming at each other. Screaming does not make you right, just loud.

  19. elwaysmilehighdenver says: Jan 8, 2013 1:28 PM

    I have to think that Musburger and Herbies obvious on air love fest with ND
    had a little to do with TV sets fading to black! ESPN announcers were very predictable!

  20. strauhal says: Jan 8, 2013 1:33 PM

    It was really just a hyped up non conference game. One of the best played one of the better. There is no way to know who is really going to be the best of two teams to play in a game titled “the national championship” based on arbitrary ratings no matter the statistics behind it. For example, is Oregon worthy of some random end of season rating of #2 in the country? Or #3? Computers didn’t think so half the year, partially based on it being arbitrarily grouped with other teams in a so called conference and who is in what conference is changing constantly right now. Yet #2/#3 ranked now they are (says Yoda). So Alabama killed Notre Dame, or more accurately, Saban’s team killed Kelly ‘s team. That wasn’t something anyone really had previous knowledge of in terms of how the teams would match up against each other and to make comments about it being a surprise is a little silly too. Was there really some indication that Notre Dame would play well under these exact conditions previously to last night? Emotionally, yes; logically, no.

  21. jwaggen says: Jan 8, 2013 1:51 PM

    Personally, I’m kinda fed up with the SEC. With all the 5 star talent Alabama gets every year – 350 lb all american linemen; 240 lb running backs with thighs like Earl Campbell that can run 4.4 40’s – and on and on and on, my aunt suzie could coach them to a 10 win season. Give me a break. If I was a 5-star, I’d commit to bama also, but at the end of the season don’t gloat about how great a team you have.

  22. hor2012 says: Jan 8, 2013 2:25 PM

    Are all the smart people in the country worth less then millions of dallors. There’s a real simple reason the Championship ratings are down. It’s called cable TV. With the way the economy is right now not everyone can afford cable. That means that people are going to sports bars or to family or friends to watch the game. If you want the ratings to go up just switch the games from ESPN to ABC

  23. imaduffer says: Jan 8, 2013 4:04 PM

    When is the BS champion game going to be played?

  24. dolphins4 says: Jan 8, 2013 4:05 PM

    The SEC championship game was far better than the so called NCAA championship game.

  25. barbeaux says: Jan 8, 2013 4:37 PM

    When things are already so out of hand that a team has to go for it on 4th down in the first quarter then yes ratings will be off.

  26. Deb says: Jan 8, 2013 6:43 PM

    All this nonsense about playoffs preventing blowouts was obviously written by people who have no knowledge or memory of the many Super Bowl blowouts that occurred after playoffs. People can be so clueless.

  27. packhawk04 says: Jan 8, 2013 10:39 PM

    Any college football fan with no irish blinders on knew this would be a blowout. so, noone watched.

  28. miserynmossouri says: Jan 8, 2013 11:16 PM

    As a fan of neither team last night I feel I can provide an unbiased opinion on the ratings. Alabama has become the patriots, the lakers or the red wings. Nobody wants to see the same team win over and over. However, people really should appreciate what nick saban has accomplished thus far. This is truly history and if you don’t like him or bama fans, you should respect his bid of work. Take the emotion out of it and look at it objectively.

  29. hor2012 says: Jan 10, 2013 5:42 PM

    BigBeachBall says:
    Jan 8, 2013 12:38 PM
    We cant let ND get title shots anymore…. That was disgraceful

    I disagree with you and I’m a Irish and SEC fan. I don’t think ND did anything to show they didn’t belong. Name one other team outside the SEC who could have stayed with BAMA. ND earned the shot at the title. The we’re beaten by a superior team. And, Bama would have been that much better against any team they played unless it was a SEC team. The only team that may have played Bama any closer outside of a SEC team would have been Louieville

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