Gators’ coronation leads to higher ratings.

Posted by | January 9, 2009 at 10:10 PM

The Gators’ second national championship in three years gave FOX a double-digit boost in the ratings.

Florida’s 24-14 win over Oklahoma in the BCS National Championship Game drew a 15.8 final rating and 26.8 million viewers on FOX Thursday night, up 10% and 16% from a 14.4 and 23.1 million for last year’s game between LSU and Ohio State.

Florida/Oklahoma finishes as the fifth-most viewed national championship game since the inception of the BCS in ’99. Additionally, the 15.8 rating is the second-highest for a BCS telecast on FOX, behind only a 17.4 for Florida/Ohio State in 2007.

Among key demographics, the game drew a 9.5 among adults 18-49, up 16% from last year, and an 8.6 among adults 18-34, up 15%.

Excluding the NFL and the Olympics, the 15.8 is the highest rating for any sporting event since the 2007 National Championship Game. The 15.8 surpasses the highest rated game of the NBA Finals by 48% (10.7), the highest rated game of the World Series by 65% (9.6), and college basketball’s national title game by 31% (12.1). Impressively, the 26.8 million viewers is more than the 25.8 million viewers the NFL’s four Wild Card games averaged last weekend.

Ratings for college football National Championship games.
15.8, 26.8 mil: Florida/Oklahoma (Thu., 1/8/09, 8 PM FOX)
14.4, 23.1 mil: LSU/Ohio St. (Tue., 1/7/08, 8 PM FOX)
17.4, 28.8 mil: Florida/Ohio St. (Mon., 1/8/07, 8 PM FOX)
21.7, 35.6 mil: Texas/USC (Wed., 1/4/06, 8 PM ABC)
13.7, 21.4 mil: USC/Oklahoma (Tue., 1/4/05, 8 PM ABC)
14.8, 23.9 mil: LSU/Oklahoma (Sun., 1/4/04, 8 PM ABC)
17.2, 29.1 mil: Ohio St./Miami (Fri., 1/3/03, 8 PM ABC)
13.8, 21.6 mil: Miami/Nebraska (Thu., 1/3/02, 8 PM ABC)
17.8, 27.2 mil: Oklahoma/Florida St. (Wed., 1/3/01, 8 PM ABC)
17.5, 27.0 mil: Florida St./Virginia Tech (Tue., 1/4/00, 8 PM ABC)
17.2, 26.1 mil: Tennessee/Florida St. (Mon., 1/4/99, 8 PM ABC)