Even with the World Series airing on FOX, ABC attracted the largest audience for a Notre Dame football game in six years Saturday night.
The Notre Dame/Oklahoma “Saturday Night Football” game drew a 5.2 final rating and 8.627 million viewers on ABC — actually down a tick in ratings but up 2% in viewership from regional action featuring Stanford/Southern Cal last year (5.3, 8.426M), and up 11% and 13%, respectively, from coverage featuring Southern Cal/Oregon in 2010 (4.7, 7.645M).
The game ranks as the highest rated and most-viewed Notre Dame football telecast on any network since Notre Dame/Southern Cal in 2006 (9.0, 14.647M).
Overall, Notre Dame/Oklahoma ranks as the highest rated and most-viewed college football game of the season on any network. The previous high was set by Michigan/Alabama in week one (4.8, 7.918M).
ABC’s top telecast last season was Oklahoma/Florida State in week three of the season, which earned a larger 5.8 final rating and 9.307 million viewers.
Saturday’s game earned strong numbers despite competition from Game 3 of the Giants/Tigers World Series on FOX. While the World Series won the head-to-head battle in ratings (6.1 to 5.2) and viewership (10.471M to 8.627M), Notre Dame/Oklahoma came out ahead among adults 18-49 (2.9 to 2.8), as well as the men 18-34 and men 18-49 demos.
(Saturday’s numbers from ESPN Media Zone)