Not surprisingly, ratings and viewership declined for the five-game Bowl Championship Series on ESPN.
The 2012 Bowl Championship Series averaged an 8.4 U.S. rating and 14.080 million viewers on ESPN, down 13% in ratings and 16% in viewership from last year (9.6, 16.729M), and down 23% and 27%, respectively, from 2010 (10.9, 19.278M, FOX/ABC).
The 8.4 average is the lowest in the history of the BCS (dating back to 1999). The previous low was a 9.4 average in 2008.
This year’s BCS included the lowest rated National Championship Game since 2005, the lowest rated Sugar Bowl since 1994, the lowest rated Orange Bowl since 1993, and the lowest rated Rose Bowl of all-time.
The BCS averaged a lower rating and fewer viewers than the 2011 NBA Finals on ABC (10.2, 17.339M), the 2011 World Series on FOX (10.0, 16.6M), and the 2011 NCAA Tournament Final Four on CBS (9.8, 17.0M).
(This year’s averages from ESPN; 2011 and 2010 averages from Sports Business Daily)