The 2012-13 college football season got off to a strong start on ESPN.
Thursday’s South Carolina/Vanderbilt college football game drew 4.129 million viewers on ESPN — up 113% from UNLV/Wisconsin last year (1.937M), and up 65% from Southern Miss/South Carolina in 2010 (2.510M).
The game ranks as ESPN’s most-viewed Thursday night college football opener since Arizona/Georgia Tech in 1994 (4.174M). Overall, this marks the second-most viewed Thursday opener ever on ESPN.
Also Thursday night, the late BYU/Washington game drew 2.188 million viewers. There was no comparable window last year.
Keep in mind both of Thursday’s games had to compete with political coverage on various other networks.
(Thursday’s numbers from ESPN, TV By the Numbers)