From the no-surprise department, the Penn State season opener attracted a large television audience Saturday afternoon.
Saturday’s Ohio/Penn State college football game drew a 2.4 U.S. rating and 3.503 million viewers on ESPN, up 71% in ratings and 74% in viewership from Akron/Ohio State last year (1.4, 2.011M).
The game was the first for Penn State since an offseason that included the death of former head football coach Joe Paterno, the release of a university-commissioned report on the Jerry Sandusky scandal, and a variety of NCAA sanctions leveled against the team.
Later in the day, Bowling Green/Florida drew a 1.8 U.S. rating and 2.758 million viewers — up 29% and 21%, respectively, from BYU/Mississippi last year (1.4, 2.278M).
After a pair of increases earlier in the day, ESPN lost some momentum in primetime.
Clemson/Auburn Saturday night earned a 2.1 U.S. rating and 3.582 million viewers, down 9% in ratings and 4% in viewership from Boise State/Georgia last year (2.3, 3.735M), and down 9% and 2%, respectively, from Oregon State/TCU in 2010 (2.3, 3.660M).
(Saturday’s numbers from ESPN Media Zone)