Bowls: Sun, Cotton up; Gator down

Posted by | January 10, 2010 at 4:52 AM

Ratings for the Sun Bowl and Cotton Bowl hit their highest levels in years, while the Gator Bowl saw a small decline.

FOX drew a 4.5 final rating for the Mississippi/Oklahoma St. Cotton Bowl on January 2, up 5% from a 4.3 for last year’s Mississippi/Texas Tech matchup, and up 29% from a 3.5 for Missouri/Arkansas in ’08.

The 4.5 rating is the highest for the Cotton Bowl since 1998.

The previous day, the Florida St./West Virginia Gator Bowl drew a 3.9 final rating on CBS, down 5% from a 4.1 for Nebraska/Clemson last year, but up 50% from a 2.6 for Texas Tech/Virginia in ’08.

The game — the last for Bobby Bowden as Florida St. head coach — is tied as the third-lowest rated Gator Bowl since ’01.

The other bowl game on CBS, the Oklahoma/Stanford Sun Bowl, drew a 3.3 rating on New Year’s Eve — up 50% from a 2.2 for Oregon St./Pittsburgh last year, and up 44% from a 2.3 for Oregon/South Florida in ’08.

The 3.3 rating is the highest for the Sun Bowl since ’02.

Ratings/viewership for the Sun, Gator and Cotton Bowls since ’96

Year Sun Gator Cotton
Rtg Vwrs Rtg Vwrs Rtg Vwrs
2010
3.3
5,022
3.9
6,408

4.5
7,250

2009
2.2
3,475
4.1
6,603
4.3
6,407
2008
2.3
3,187
2.6
4,038
3.5
5,664
2007
2.4
3.9
6,062
3.7
5,713
2006
2.6
3.9
5,675
3.7
5,466
2005
2.8
3,716
4.0
5,974
2.6
4,019
2004
3.2
4,318
3.6
5,672
4.3
6,062
2003
3.1
4,010
5.2
7,700
3.4
5,016
2002
3.8
5,178
5.8
9,019
4.3
6,668
2001
3.5
4.6
4.4
2000
4.3
3.8
4.1
1999
3.4
6.4
4.1
1998
4.1
3.3
6.2
1997
3.7
5.7
5.6
1996
4.0
3.5
5.6

(Sports Business Daily)