Ratings for the Capital One and Gator Bowls went in opposite directions this year, though both games remained well below par.
The 2012 Capital One Bowl, won by #9 South Carolina over #20 Nebraska, earned a 2.9 U.S. rating and 4.499 million viewers on ESPN January 2 — down 22% in ratings and 26% in viewership from last year (ALA/MSU: 3.7, 6.045M), and down 57% and 61%, respectively, from 2010 (PSU/LSU: 6.8, 11.631M, ABC).
The game ranks as the lowest rated Capital One Bowl since at least 1995 (ratings prior to 1996 were not available) and the least-viewed since at least 2001 (viewership prior to 2002 was not available).
As recently as 2008, the game earned a 9.1 rating and 14.8 million viewers.
Over on ESPN2, the Ohio State/Florida Gator Bowl earned a 1.9 and 2.947 million viewers, up 12% in ratings and 4% in viewership from last year (1.7, 2.827M), and down 51% and 54%, respectively, from 2010 (FSU/WVU: 3.9, 6.408M, CBS).
Florida’s win ranks as the second-lowest rated Gator Bowl since at least 1995 and the second-least viewed since at least 2001.
(This year’s numbers from Sports Business Daily)