This postseason has been a good one for the people at ESPN. With so much invested in the College Football Playoff, the network did all it could to pump up the championship game, and it seems to have paid off. More people watched Monday night’s College Football Playoff championship game between Ohio State and Oregon than any other program in ESPN’s history.
Per an ESPN release, ESPN generated a 18.5 overnight rating, the highest metered market in ESPN’s history according to Nielsen. This year’s championship game saw a 21 percent increase in ratings over last season’s BCS National Championship Game between Florida State and Auburn. It also topped the best overnight rating in cable history, which was previously owned by the 2011 BCS National Championship Game between Auburn and Oregon.
Some more information passed along by ESPN;
Columbus, Ohio was the top market for the championship game, with a 51.2. Dayton (43.8) and Cleveland (41.3) followed atop the list of top markets for the game. Portland, Oregon recorded a 37.6, fourth best overall.
Birmingham, Alabama was the fifth top market with a 36.1), followed by Cincinnati (26.5), Jacksonville (25.7), Knoxville (25.5), Greenville (24.1) and Atlanta (23.0).
ESPN also claims to have recorded record overnight numbers for college football on ESPN in 22 different markets, including Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington D.C.