With an appearance in the BCS National Championship Game on the line, Notre Dame’s clash with rival Southern Cal was a massive hit for ABC.
The latest edition of “Saturday Night Football,” pitting #1 Notre Dame against unranked Southern Cal, earned a 10.0 overnight rating on ABC — up 144% from Notre Dame/Stanford last year (4.1), and up 92% from regional action featuring Oklahoma/Oklahoma State in 2010 (5.2).
The 10.0 overnight is easily the highest of the season for college football on any network, sailing past the previous high of 7.0 for Alabama/Louisiana State on CBS two weeks earlier.
Overall, the 10.0 is the highest for a regular season college football game since Louisiana State/Alabama in November 2011 (11.9), the best for a game on ESPN/ABC since Michigan/Ohio State in November 2006 (13.7), and the best ever for ABC’s “Saturday Night Football” (84 telecasts dating back to 2006).
The previous high for a “Saturday Night Football” game was a 9.6 overnight for Notre Dame/Southern Cal in 2006.
Notre Dame/USC capped off an strong tripleheader for ABC. Earlier in the day, the Michigan/Ohio State game drew a 6.3 overnight — up 19% from the same matchup last year (5.3), and up 31% from the same matchup in 2010 (4.8).
The 6.3 is the highest for the Michigan/Ohio State rivalry since 2007 (6.4).
The Florida/Florida State game brought up the rear with a 5.6 overnight, but that still marks a 75% increase from regional coverage featuring Virginia/Virginia Tech last year (3.2), and a 47% jump from coverage featuring Northwestern/Wisconsin in 2010 (3.8).
Overall, Saturday’s three games rank among the six highest-rated of the season in the metered markets.
UPDATE 12/2/12: Despite earlier indications from ESPN that the game drew a 10.3 overnight, the Notre Dame/Southern Cal telecast actually drew a 10.0.
(Saturday’s numbers from ESPN)