Ratings: Michigan/Michigan State, Baylor/Texas A&M, IndyCar on ABC

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Recent sports TV ratings notes, including Week 7 college football final ratings on ESPN (including Michigan/Michigan State), FX (Baylor/Texas A&M) and Versus (Stanford/Washington State). Also included is last week’s tragedy-marred IndyCar season finale.

  • Week 7 College Football Finals on ESPN: ESPN earned a 3.3 U.S. rating and 4.777 million viewers for #11 Michigan/#23 Michigan State on October 15, the most-viewed Noon ET college football game in the history of the network. The previous high was 4.402 million for Michigan/Wisconsin in November 2007. In the evening, Florida/#24 Auburn earned a 2.2 and 3.571 million viewers, down 49% in ratings and 51% in viewership from last year (OSU/WISC: 4.3, 7.271M), and #18 Arizona State/#9 Oregon drew a 2.5 and 3.868 million, up 39% and 41%, respectively, from last year (OSU/WSH: 1.8, 2.748M).
  • Week 7 College Football Finals on FX/Versus: Last week’s #20 Baylor/#21 Texas A&M college football game earned a 0.6 U.S. rating and 936,000 viewers on FX, up 20% in ratings and 14% in viewership from the network’s lone game a week earlier, which aired in primetime (TAMU/TTU: 0.5, 824K). Over on Versus, #7 Stanford/Washington State drew a 0.3 and 433,000, up 50% and 58%, respectively, from the game in the same timeslot the previous week (COL/STAN: 0.2, 274K). Earlier in the day, the network’s Penn/Columbia game drew a mere 0.0 and 64,000 viewers.
  • Ratings For Tragedy-Marred IndyCar Finale: Earlier this year, IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard promised to “quit” if the series’ 2011 finale earned a 0.8 rating. The race doubled that number for the worst possible reason. Last Sunday’s IZOD IndyCar World Championship from Las Vegas, canceled after eleven laps due to a 15-car accident that killed driver Dan Wheldon, drew a 1.6 final rating and 2.448 million viewers on ABC. The telecast, which lasted until 6:32 PM ET and primarily consisted of news coverage of the accident, was IndyCar’s highest rated in four years (excluding the Indianapolis 500). It would seem obvious that the larger-than-usual audience for the race was due to viewers tuning in for coverage of the Wheldon tragedy.

(Numbers from Nielsen, The Voice of TV)

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