BCS: Orange Bowl Earns Horrible 4.5 Overnight on ESPN


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)

  • Astasf

    Orange Bowl organizers deserve all this and more for standing in the way of a true playoff system (and not some lame plus one crap). I turned off College Football a couple of years ago – when everybody else does and the bigwigs start to lose some money, then maybe we’ll see some progress. 

  • E

    The only way things will change is if the BCS national championship game gets low ratings. The BCS doesnt care about any other game.

  • ICEJus10

    An 8:30 start on a Wednesday night during a school week is the first no no, and then it became a blowout by 5 mins into the second quarter…  I’d like to see a breakdown of the quarter hour or half hours…  I bet the beginning was significantly higher!

  • Nsbombers

    Does anybody know what time the game ended.College football games in general take too long, too many reviews it seems like every touchdown is reviewed.Too many points last why don’t they just play flag football.Who in their right mind is going to watch a bowl game this sunday@ 9pm.

  • Bessilver

    Outside of playing for the national championship, I never understood the allure of bowl games.  Yes, its another opportunity to see more football, but aside from bragging rights, the games have no meaningful conclusion. 

  • Anonymous

    Awesome.  Lower ratings = less dollars from ESPN.  That means we’re moving closer to blowing up this venal, anticompetitive BCS bowl system.  What replaces it (hopefully an eight game playoff featuring home games by top seeds) will still be money-grubbing, but at least will likely be more upfront and fair (and less hypocritical).

    This game would have been a somewhat interesting regular season Thursday night game.  But for a “BCS” bowl game, it left a lot to be desired.

  • http://twitter.com/morganwick Morgan Wick

    Even if we’re not closer to blowing up the BCS, maybe we’re closer to it moving back to broadcast? Maybe?

  • Donaldsnell

    did they not call anyone in WV

  • Anonymous

    At 103 points scored by both teams that has to be a record.

  • Tes0306

    Bring bowl games back to network television! You suck, ESPN. Just like Verizon, Bank of America and Netflix. Sick of the corporate greed!

    • Kpb10930

      Here is a thought don’t buy, use or watch their products. They are in business to turn a profit and you don’t have to use them.

  • Dikkoz

    The BCS/ESPN and greedy college presidents have ruined College Football.  These bowl games used to be special.  Now they’re a joke!