College Football Playoff Games Had More TV Viewers Than Three of Four NFL Wild Card Playoff Games

College Football Playoff Games Had More TV Viewers Than Three of Four NFL Wild Card Playoff Games

NCAAF

College Football Playoff Games Had More TV Viewers Than Three of Four NFL Wild Card Playoff Games

By

Ezekiel Elliott Ohio State

College Football Playoff TV Ratings, January 1, 2015

Oregon 59, Florida State 20
Averaged 28.2 million viewers
14.8 rating

Ohio State 42, Alabama 35
Averaged 28.3 million viewers
15.2 rating
Largest audience in cable history

Only four BCS Championship games beat those numbers: Vince Young’s thrilling comeback for Texas against USC in 2006 (35.6 million viewers), Alabama’s win over Texas in 2010 (30.8 million), Ohio State’s controversial win over Miami in 2003 (29.1 million) and Florida’s victory over Ohio State in 2007 (28.8 million).

NFL Wild Card Playoff TV Ratings, January 3 & 4, 2015

Carolina 27, Arizona 16
Averaged 21.7 million viewers

Baltimore 30, Pittsburgh 17
Averaged 28 million viewers

Indianapolis 26, Cincinnati 10
Averaged 28.3 million viewers

Dallas 24, Detroit 20
Averaged 42.3 million viewers

In fairness to the NFL, a few things: 1) This was the first year of the college football playoff. It had an unbeaten team (FSU), and two of the most popular programs in the country (OSU, Alabama). 2) The four best NFL teams all season – Broncos, Seahawks, Packers, Patriots – had a bye. 3) The players ranked 1-2 in jersey sales (Peyton, Russell Wilson) had byes.

Still, college football has to be optimistic about the 1st year of the playoff. Imagine an 8-team playoff with even more drama and wall-to-wall football! Of course, as a reader pointed out last week, next year’s 4-team playoff is bizarrely scheduled for December 31st (Orange and Fiesta Bowls) because the mighty Rose Bowl won’t move. Down the road, that’ll change.

That being said, the NFL Divisional weekend TV ratings should all top 35 million, except maybe the Seattle/Carolina game. I wouldn’t be surprised to see both Sunday games approach 50 million viewers.

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