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The South Is Still The King Of College Football Ratings

ESPN has conducted a 12-year analysis of television ratings for college football and the results aren’t surprising: Southerners watch.  A lot.

According to the research, Birmingham had higher TV ratings for college football than in any other city in 11 of the 12 years examined.  Knoxville and Columbus, Ohio were each ranked #2 behind Birmingham multiple times over that same period.

Below is a list of the Top 25 TV markets for college football in 2011 alone.  And, yes, there’s still a strong Southern lean to the list:


1.  Birmingham, AL

2t.  Oklahoma City, OK

2t.  Columbus, OH

4.  Greenville, SC

5t.  New Orleans, LA

5t.  Atlanta, GA

7t.  Jacksonville, FL

7t.  Tulsa, OK

9.  Las Vegas, NV

10.  Knoxville, TN

11.  Dayton, OH

12t.  Greensboro, NC

12t.  Austin, TX

12t.  Charlotte, NC

12t.  Ft. Myers, FL

16t.  Pittsburgh, PA

16t.  Nashville, TN

16t.  Norfolk, VA

16t.  Memphis, TN

20.  Cleveland, OH

21.  Orlando, FL

22t.  Raleigh-Durham, NC

22t.  West Palm Beach, FL

22t.  Detroit, MI

25t.  Cincinnati, OH

25t.  Richmond, VA

25t.  Portland, OR

25t.  Kansas City, MO

25t.  Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL



* Folks like their football in Ohio and Oklahoma.

* Thirteen of the markets ranked are located in the SEC’s new footprint.

* The ACC-area cities put up higher numbers than this writer would expect.

* It’s surprising that in the state of Texas, only Austin ranks as a Top 25 market for college football viewing.



Only one TX market, I'm surprised by that too.  Kansas City is tied with Tampa, not bad.


2 markets from Virginia is solid.  VA Tech is the big state school up there so I'm sure they account for most of that.  I'm very surprised by 3 North Carolina markets on here, especially with how high Greensboro is.  Who are these people in NC watching?  Whoever it is needs to be team #15 followed shortly by VA Tech.  Yeah, I had to go there.


Does the lack of west coast representation on this list suggest that the Pac-12 network may not have a proftable market?


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