One of the largest college football audiences in the past two decades tuned in to watch Notre Dame clinch an appearance in the BCS National Championship Game.
Last Saturday’s Notre Dame/Southern Cal college football game drew a 9.4 final rating and 16.1 million viewers on ABC, up 141% in ratings and 161% in viewership from Notre Dame/Stanford last year (3.9, 6.2M), and up 92% and 95%, respectively, from regional action featuring Oklahoma State/Oklahoma in 2010 (4.9, 8.2M).
The game ranks as the highest rated and most-viewed college football telecast of the season, breezing by the previous mark set by Alabama/Louisiana State on CBS in week ten (6.8, 11.3M).
In addition, the game ranks as the top regular season college football game on any network since Louisiana State/Alabama last year (11.5, 20.0M), the top game on ABC since Michigan/Ohio State in 2006 (13.0, 21.0M), and the top “Saturday Night Football” telecast of all time.
The previous mark for “Saturday Night Football” was set by Notre Dame/Southern Cal in 2006 (9.0, 14.6M).
Overall, Saturday’s game ranks as the fifth-most viewed regular season college football game on any network since at least 1991.
(Saturday’s numbers from ESPN Media Zone)