College Football Wrap: CBS, ABC Hit Multi-Year Lows; NBC Hits 6-Year High


Perhaps competition from FOX and a resurgent NBC were to blame, but ABC and CBS both hit multi-year lows for college football coverage this season.

The “SEC on CBS” was the highest rated college football series during the 2010-11 season, averaging a 3.9 rating. While that may sound good in a press release, the 3.9 average marks a 7% decline from both last year (4.2) and 2010 (4.2), and ranks as the lowest for the SEC on CBS since 2008 (3.4).

CBS topped second-place ABC, which averaged a 3.2 rating for regular season games — down 9% from last year (3.5) and 2010 (3.5). The 3.2 average is the lowest for college football on the network since at least 2006.

Over on NBC, Notre Dame games averaged a 2.8 rating, up 67% from last year (1.7), and up 33% from 2010 (2.1). The 2.8 is the highest for Notre Dame coverage on the network since 2006 (3.0).

NBC was technically not the top Notre Dame broadcaster during the season. Four Notre Dame telecasts on ABC averaged a 5.3 rating, topping NBC’s average by 89%. ABC also doubled NBC in viewership (8.8M to 4.4M).

Average college football ratings on FOX, ESPN and ESPN2 were not available.

(CBS and ABC averages from CBS Sports press release; NBC averages from NBC Sports Group press release via Fang’s Bites; ABC Notre Dame averages from ESPN Media Zone)