Now Entering Russ's World
The new college football playoff system is going great; at least it is if you are ESPN. The two semifinal games, aired on New Year’s Day, are now the two most watched broadcasts in cable television history. The day’s first game, Oregon’s blowout of Florida State, was seen by 28.2 million viewers. Ohio State’s upset win over top-seeded Alabama was viewed by an incredible 28.3 million viewers.
With the two semifinal games ESPN now owns the 17 largest audiences in cable tv history. While not unexpected, the ratings must be welcomed news for the nation’s number one sports network. ESPN paid a reported $7.3 billion for the right to broadcast the college football playoffs through the 2025 season.
ESPN’s broadcasts were not a complete success. WatchESPN, the company’s online and mobile viewing option, experienced technical errors and was not available for the start of the Rose Bowl.
The semifinal games not only drew huge crowds on cable, but also had exceptional ticket sales. It was all the talk on Yola Site and others around the web. The Rose Bowl had a total of 91,322 fans attend the game in Pasadena, and Igor Cornelsen would have gone if he could. The Sugar Bowl in New Orleans saw more than 70,000 people pass through the gates.
The championship game will be played in Arlington, TX on January 12 between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Oregon Ducks. The Ducks are the early favorites, but with the way Ohio State has played recently the title is surely up for grabs.