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Bama-LSU The Lowest-Rated BCS Title Game… Ever

The game was a rematch.  A rematch of a game that many people found to be boring the first time around.  A boring game played by two teams from the same conference, the same region of the country.

There are plenty of reasons why last night’s Alabama-LSU title bout was the lowest-rated BCS title game in history (and that history dates back to January of 1999).  The fact that many people likely tuned the game out as it proved to be yet another festival of field goals should be considered, too.

Last night’s game was down 14% from last year’s close game between Auburn and Oregon. 

With the title game and other BCS bowls taking a ratings hit this year, the likelihood of BCS commissioners changing their end-of-the-year system improves.



Rating equals percentage of households, not eyeballs. In terms of eyeballs it was middle of the pack.

Non-traditional platforms (Xbox, tablets, etc / tuned to WatchESPN, etc.) were up 20%, so at least some part of the "decline" was simply a shift in screen choice.

It's a fun headline to throw at a controversial game, but a bit misleading. I said a bit. Easy, there, John.


Has anyone considered that the low ratings have to do with the day and time it was played? I mean how many people turned it off because they had to get up for work on Tuesday morning.


True, but it was also the "second highest of program in the history in cable television." It is funny how all these media outlets are using the fact that it had worse ratings than last year's game as a push for a playoff. As I believe you have pointed out, even with a playoff it is very likely we would have ended up with the same game (LSU beats Stanford; Bama beats OSU; LSU v. Bama in NCG). What's that old saying, the grass is always greener....

From :

ESPN’s telecast of the Allstate Bowl Championship Series (BCS) National Championship – Alabama’s 21-0 shutout of LSU -- posted a 16.2 fast national household coverage rating, according to Nielsen, representing an average of 16,072,000 households, the second highest of any program in the history in cable television (records go back to 1987). The average of 24,214,000 viewers (P2+) was also second best in cable. It also is ESPN’s second-highest rating of all time. The only telecast in cable television history with a larger audience was last year’s BCS Championship on ESPN (17,718,000 homes and 27,316,000 people, based on a 17.8 rating), a 22-19 Auburn victory over Oregon decided by a field goal as time expired.

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