Rough Start For Saturday Night Football


A suspension-marred game resulted in steep drop in overnight ratings for the season debut of Saturday Night Football.

ABC drew a 2.8 overnight rating for LSU/North Carolina on Saturday night, down 33% from Alabama/Virginia Tech last year (4.2), down 30% from regional coverage featuring Alabama/Clemson in ’08 (4.0) and down 24% from Tennessee/Cal in ’07 (3.7).

This marks the lowest overnight ever for the season premiere of Saturday Night Football.

Additionally, this is the lowest overnight for any Saturday Night Football telecast since Michigan/Iowa last October (2.7). That game aired opposite a primetime Florida/LSU game on CBS (6.8).

LSU/North Carolina did not do much better than Oregon St./TCU on ESPN, which aired at the same time (2.6).

Earlier Saturday, regional action featuring Connecticut/Michigan drew a 2.7 overnight, down 21% from coverage featuring Georgia/Oklahoma St. last year (3.4), down 16% from ’08 (3.2), but up 29% from ’07 (2.1).