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State of the Screens

Return to New Year’s Day, Classic Rose Bowl, Boost CFP Overnights

By January 12, 2018No Comments

TV ratings for the College Football Playoff semifinals were up big compared to the previous two years.

Ratings change compared to previous years:
1) 2018 vs. 2017: ↑ 26%
2) 2018 vs. 2016: ↑ 42%

The big change. Moving the games from New Year’s Eve to New Year’s Day.

The peak viewing time was between 9:00–9:15 PM EST.

Below are the 5 most-watched cable telecast of all time:
1) 2014 CFB National Championship (Oregon/Ohio State): 33.4m
2) 2014 CFB Semifinal (Ohio State/Alabama): 28.3m
3) 2014 CFB Semifinal (Florida State/Oregon): 28.2m
4) 2010 CFB National Championship (Oregon/Auburn): 27.3m
5) 2017 CFB Semifinal (Georgia/Oklahoma): 26.8m

College football has fared better than the NFL, but ratings declined during the regular season.

% change between 2016 and 2017:
Fox: ↑ 23%
2) FS1: ↑ 4%
3) NBC: ↓ 3%
4) ESPN: ↓ 6%
5) CBS: ↓ 10%
6) ABC: ↓ 18%

Below are the 5 most-watched college football games during the regular season:
1) Alabama/Auburn (CBS): 13.7m
2) Georgia/Auburn (CBS): 13.5m
3) Ohio State/Wisconsin (Fox): 12.9m
4) Florida State/Alabama (ABC): 12.4m
5) Ohio State/Michigan (Fox): 10.5m

The big question. What impact will an all-SEC national championship have on ratings?

The last all-SEC national championship game (Alabama/LSU in 2012) was the lowest-rated finale over the past 16 years.

Quote from Chuck Neinas — Former Commissioner @ Big 12 Conference:
“We met the day after the game and said, ‘We need to look at a different system,’”

Michael Beach

Michael Beach

Michael Beach is the Chief Executive Officer of Cross Screen Media, a media analytics and software company that enables marketers to plan, activate, and measure CTV and linear TV at the local level. Michael is also the founder and editor of State of the Screens, a weekly newsletter focused on video advertising that is a must-read for thought leaders in the advertising industry. He has appeared in such publications as PBS Frontline, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Axios, CNBC and Bloomberg, and on NPR’s Planet Money podcast.