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Ratings: College Football Playoffs Suffer Major Hit on ESPN

Semifinal games are down double digits from last year

The college football playoffs on ESPN will no doubt be making a resolution to improve their ratings.

Both the Orange Bowl and the Cotton Bowl were down by double digits from last season’s college football semifinals while airing on New Years Eve. The Orange Bowl, which saw Clemson take on Oklahoma, drew a 9.7 rating in the advertiser coveted adults 18-49 demographic. Last year’s comparable semifinal game, which aired on Jan. 1, scored a 15.3, meaning it dropped almost 38 percent.

The Cotton Bowl between Michigan State and Alabama was similarly down. This year’s game netted a 9.9 rating, while last year’s comparable semifinal game got a 15.5. That is a drop of 36 percent. Last year’s game also aired on Jan. 1.

Both games had a number of factors working against them, however. ABC’s “Dick Clark‘s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest” has consistently been a ratings powerhouse, so it is no surprise that broadcast took up a substantial portion of Thursday’s viewership.

In addition, both games were complete blowouts. Alabama crushed Michigan State 38-0, while Clemson routed Oklahoma 37-17.