An already lackluster Orange Bowl turned into an all-time blowout Wednesday night, leading to easily the lowest Bowl Championship Series overnight rating in history.
Wednesday’s #23 West Virginia/#15 Clemson Orange Bowl earned an extremely low 4.5 overnight rating on ESPN, down 37% from last year’s game (STAN/VT: 7.1), and down 38% from 2010 (IOWA/GT: 7.2, FOX).
The 4.5 overnight is easily the worst in the history of the Bowl Championship Series, falling nearly a quarter from the previous low of 5.9, set by the 2009 Orange Bowl (VT/CIN, FOX). Four of the five lowest rated BCS bowls in the metered markets have aired on ESPN — the 2012 Orange (4.5), 2012 Sugar (6.3), 2011 Fiesta (6.7) and 2011 Orange (7.1) bowls.
Even at their worst, the NBA Finals and World Series never plunged to such depths. The lowest overnight ever for an NBA Finals game was a 6.9 for Cavaliers/Spurs Game 2 in 2007. The lowest overnight for a World Series game — excluding those delayed by rain — was a 7.4 for last year’s Cardinals/Rangers Game 3.
The Orange Bowl has been a mediocre television draw for some time now. In each of the past six seasons, the game has failed to draw even an 8.0 overnight rating. In the previous six seasons, the game had a 9.5 overnight each year.
(Wednesday’s numbers from Sports Business Daily)