The audience for Monday’s nail-biting College Football Playoff National Championship was huge. How could it not be? Clemson beat Alabama 35-31 in the very final second. It’s already being called one of the most memorable college games ever.
Sure enough, more than 26 million total viewers tuned in on various ESPN streaming and TV platforms, the network has reported. That includes ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU.
But – wait, what? – that was actually down 3 percent compared with last year’s championship game between the same two teams (26.7 million).
What can we say? Ratings are funny things. But it should be pointed out that last year’s Clemson-Bama game was also a heart-pounder. That one was decided with a 24-yard touchdown pass in the final 12 seconds, with Alabama winning 45-40.
When it comes to entertainment value, these teams deliver.
Overall, the three-game College Football Playoff delivered a live-audience average of 22.2 million total viewers, up 9 percent compared with last year.
Looking just at ESPN on TV, the Clemson and Alabama face-off logged 24.4 million total viewers, making it the No. 8 cable telecast of all time in total viewers.
Monday’s game, impressive as it was, was far behind the No. 1 cable record held by the Oregon-Ohio State championship, which drew 33.4 million total viewers.