Monday, February 19, 2007

The Ratings Game

Bowl games are big business. Just take a look at the TV ratings for postseason games from Nielsen Media Research. At the top of the list, as one would expect, was the BCS title game between Ohio State and Florida with a 17.4 rating, which translates into an average audience of 28.8 million viewers. The Rose Bowl between USC and Michigan finished a strong second with a 13.9 rating. Surprisingly, the top non-BCS bowl was the Alamo between Texas and Iowa, which clocked 6.0 to become the most-watched bowl game ever on ESPN. Toward the bottom of the postseason ratings came the first-year Bowl, which finished 25th out of 32 games. The 1.7 rating for the matchup between East Carolina and South Florida translates into 2.1 million viewers. At the very bottom came the Insight between Texas Tech and Minnesota, which garnered a 0.9 rating. It's important to note that the Insight and the Texas Bowl, which finished 29th overall, were telecast by the NFL Network. That network has yet to be picked up by most cable companies, which no doubt impacted the ratings of those two games. You can click on the chart to take a closer look.

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