College Football Wrap: TV Ratings For (Almost) Every Game This Season

Posted by | December 10, 2012 at 5:02 PM

With the regular season now complete, here are the television ratings for most college football games on ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, ESPN and ESPN2.

[Click here to jump to the list.]

The biggest names in college football unsurprisingly attracted the biggest numbers during the 2012 regular season. The highest rated and most-watched college football game of the season was the December 1 Alabama/Georgia SEC Championship Game on CBS (9.8, 16.2M), followed close behind by Notre Dame/Southern Cal on ABC November 24 (9.4, 16.1M).

Those two games rank as the fifth and sixth-most viewed regular season college football games of the past 20 years — a good omen for ESPN, which is scheduled to carry the January 7 Notre Dame/Alabama BCS National Championship Game.

Alabama also played in the third and fourth-most viewed games of the 2012 season. Their November 3 win over LSU drew a 6.8 and 11.3 million viewers, while their upset loss to Texas A&M the following week drew a 6.1 and 9.6 million.

Rounding out the top five this season was the November 24 Michigan/Ohio State game on ABC, which earned a 5.8 and 9.5 million viewers.

TV Ratings For 2012 Regular Season College Football Games
P2+ viewership (if available) in parentheses
Double-asterisk (**) indicates overnight rating
UPDATED 12/13: Added final ratings/viewership for Thanksgiving week games on ABC, CBS and FOX
UPDATED 12/15: Added final ratings/viewership for Army/Navy on CBS

Date
Rating
Away Home Time Net
WEEK ONE
Thu., 8/30/12
2.6 (4.1M)
South Carolina Vanderbilt 7 PM ESPN
1.5 (2.2M)
Wash. St. BYU 10 PM ESPN
Fri., 8/31/12
2.7 (4.2M)
Boise St. Michigan St. 8 PM ESPN
0.8 (1.5M)
Tennessee N.C. State 7:30 PM ESPNU
Sat., 9/1/12
4.8 (7.9M)
Alabama Michigan 8 PM ABC
2.4 (3.5M)
Ohio Penn State 12 PM ESPN
2.3 (3.5M)
Miami Boston College 3:30 PM ABC
Southern Miss. Nebraska
2.1 (3.6M)
Clemson Auburn 7 PM ESPN
1.8 (2.8M)
Bowling Green Florida 3:30 PM ESPN
1.2 (2.0M)
Ark. State Oregon 10:30 PM ESPN
1.2 (1.8M)
Hawaii USC 7 PM FOX
1.9**
Notre Dame Navy 9 AM CBS
Sun., 9/2/12
1.5 (2.4M)
Kentucky Louisville 4 PM ESPN
Mon.,9/3/12
2.8 (4.3M)
Ga. Tech Va. Tech 8 PM ESPN
WEEK TWO
Thu., 9/6/12
1.6 (2.2M)
Pittsburgh Cincinnati 8 PM ESPN
Fri., 9/7/12
N/A (1.6M)
Utah Utah State 8 PM ESPN2
Sat., 9/8/12
3.3 (4.7M)
USC Syracuse 3:30 PM ABC
Air Force Michigan
2.9 (4.5M)
Florida Texas A&M 3:30 PM ESPN
2.8 (4.3M)
Nebraska UCLA 8 PM FOX
2.4 (4.1M)
Georgia
Missouri 7:45 PM ESPN2
2.0 (2.8M)
Penn State
Virginia
12 PM ABC
1.9 (2.8M)
Purdue
Notre Dame
3:30 PM NBC
1.8 (2.9M)
Washington LSU 7 PM ESPN
1.7 (2.5M)
Auburn Mississippi St. 12 PM ESPN
1.4 (2.2M)
UCF Ohio State 12 PM ESPN2
WEEK THREE
Thu., 9/13/12
N/A (1.3M)
Rutgers USF 7:30 PM ESPN
Fri., 9/14/12
N/A (1.4M)
Washington St. UNLV 9 PM ESPN
Sat., 9/15/12
3.2 (5.0M)
Notre Dame Michigan St. 8 PM ABC
3.2
Alabama Arkansas 3:30 PM CBS
3.1 (5.1M)
Florida Tennessee 6 PM ESPN
2.7 (3.8M)
Cal Ohio State 12 PM ABC
2.5 (3.9M)
USC Stanford 8 PM FOX
1.9 (2.7M)
Penn State Navy 3:30 PM ABC
UNC Louisville
1.5 (2.4M)
Texas Mississippi 9:30 PM ESPN
WEEK FOUR
Thu., 9/20/12
1.4 (2.1M)
BYU Boise State 9 PM ESPN
Fri., 9/21/12
1.5 (2.2M)
Baylor UL-Monroe 8 PM ESPN
Sat., 9/22/12
4.0 (6.4M)
Michigan Notre Dame 7:30 PM NBC
2.9 (4.8M)
Clemson FSU 8 PM ABC
2.5
Missouri South Carolina 3:30 PM CBS
2.4 (3.8M)
LSU Auburn 7 PM ESPN
2.3
Oregon State UCLA 3:30 PM ABC
Temple Penn State
2.0 (3.0M)
Arizona Oregon 10:30 PM ESPN
1.8 (2.8M)
Kansas St. Oklahoma 8 PM FOX
WEEK FIVE
Thu., 9/27/12
1.4 (2.1M)
Stanford Washington 9 PM ESPN
Fri., 9/28/12
1.0 (1.4M)
Hawaii BYU 8 PM ESPN
Sat., 9/29/12
3.3 (5.0M)
Ohio State Michigan St. 3:30 PM ABC
2.9
Tennessee Georgia 3:30 PM CBS
2.7 (4.3M)
Wisconsin Nebraska 8 PM ABC
2.5 (3.8M)
Texas Oklahoma St. 8 PM FOX
2.1 (3.5M)
Mississippi Alabama 9:30 PM ESPN
1.2 (1.9M)
South Carolina Kentucky 7 PM ESPN2
1.2 (1.7M)
Penn State Illinois 12 PM ESPN
1.1 (1.7M)
Oregon Washington St. 10:30 PM ESPN2
1.1 (1.7M)
FSU USF 6 PM ESPN
0.6 (891K)
Clemson Boston College 3:30 PM ESPN2
0.5 (758K)
Minnesota Iowa 12 PM ESPN2
WEEK SIX
Thu., 10/4/12
1.6 (2.3M)
USC Utah 9 PM ESPN
Fri., 10/5/12
1.0 (1.4M)
Pittsburgh Syracuse 7 PM ESPN
0.9 (1.4M)
Utah State BYU 10:15 PM ESPN
Sat., 10/6/12
4.6
Florida LSU 3:30 PM CBS
3.1 (5.2M)
Nebraska Ohio State 8 PM ABC
2.9 (4.6M)
West Virginia Texas 7 PM FOX
2.3 (4.0M)
Georgia South Carolina 7 PM ESPN
2.2 (3.7M)
Miami Notre Dame 7:30 PM NBC
2.0 (3.1M)
Illinois Wisconsin 3:30 PM ABC
Oklahoma Texas Tech
1.7 (2.5M)
Washington Oregon 10:30 PM ESPN
1.7 (2.5M)
Northwestern Penn State 12 PM ESPN
1.2 (1.9M)
Arkansas Auburn 12 PM ESPN2
1.1
Navy Air Force 11:30 AM CBS
1.0 (1.4M)
Ga. Tech Clemson 3:30 PM ESPN
0.8 (1.3M)
FSU N.C. State 8 PM ESPN2
0.4 (553K)
Reverse mirror of ABC window 3:30 PM ESPN2
1.0**
Arizona Stanford 3 PM FOX
WEEK SEVEN
Thu., 10/11/12
0.6 (823K)
Arizona St. Colorado 9 PM ESPN
Fri., 10/12/12
0.6 (884K)
Navy Cent. Michigan 8 PM ESPN2
Sat., 10/13/12
3.7 (6.0M)
South Carolina LSU 8 PM ESPN
3.3 (5.2M)
Stanford Notre Dame 3:30 PM NBC
3.1 (4.6M)
West Virginia Texas Tech 3:30 PM ABC
Oregon State BYU
Illinois Michigan
2.3
Alabama Missouri 3:30 PM CBS
1.6 (2.5M)
USC Washington 7 PM FOX
1.4 (2.1M)
Iowa Michigan St. 12 PM ESPN
0.7 (1.1M)
Tennessee Mississippi St. 9 PM ESPN2
0.7 (990K)
Reverse mirror of ABC window 3:30 PM ESPN
0.6
Utah UCLA 3 PM FOX
0.4 (672K)
Boston College FSU 5:30 PM ESPN2
0.4 (646K)
Northwestern Minnesota 12 PM ESPN2
3.5**
Texas Oklahoma 12 PM ABC
WEEK EIGHT
Tue., 10/16/12
0.3 (366K)
UL-Lafayette North Texas 9 PM ESPN2
Thu., 10/18/12
1.3 (1.9M)
Oregon Arizona St. 9 PM ESPN
Fri., 10/19/12
0.8 (1.0M)
Connecticut Syracuse 8 PM ESPN
Sat., 10/20/12
3.1 (4.9M)
Florida South Carolina 3:30 PM CBS
3.1 (4.8M)
FSU Miami 8 PM ABC
Baylor Texas
2.9
Virginia Tech Clemson 12 PM ABC
Purdue Ohio State
2.8 (4.2M)
LSU Texas A&M 12 PM ESPN
2.6 (4.0M)
USF Louisville 3:30 PM ABC
Texas Tech TCU
Nebraska Northwestern
2.5 (4.2M)
Alabama Tennessee 7 PM ESPN
2.4 (3.7M)
BYU Notre Dame 3:30 PM NBC
1.6 (2.5M)
Kansas State West Virginia 7 PM FOX
0.8 (1.3M)
Utah Oregon State 10:30 PM ESPN2
0.4 (666K)
Reverse mirror of ABC window 3:30 PM ESPN2
0.3 (471K)
Middle Tenn. Mississippi St. 7 PM ESPN2
0.3 (460K)
Reverse mirror of ABC window
12 PM ESPN2
0.7**
Stanford Cal 3 PM FOX
WEEK NINE
Tue., 10/23/12
0.5 (778K)
Ark. State UL-Lafayette 7:30 PM ESPN2
Thu., 10/25/12
0.8 (1.2M)
Clemson Wake Forest 7:30 PM ESPN
Fri., 10/26/12
1.4 (2.0M)
Cincinnati Louisville 8 PM ESPN2
Sat., 10/27/12
5.2 (8.6M)
Notre Dame Oklahoma 8 PM ABC
4.2
Georgia Florida 3:30 PM CBS
2.8
Michigan St. Wisconsin 3:30 PM ABC
USC Arizona
2.6 (3.9M)
Tennessee South Carolina 12 PM ESPN
2.3 (3.9M)
Ohio State Penn State 5:30 PM ESPN
2.1 (3.7M)
Mississippi St. Alabama 8:45 PM ESPN
1.2 (2.0M)
Michigan Nebraska 8 PM ESPN2
0.6 (909K)
Iowa Northwestern 12 PM ESPN2
0.4 (640K)
Reverse mirror of ABC window 3:30 PM ESPN2
1.3**
Texas Tech Kansas State 3 PM FOX
WEEK TEN
Thu., 11/1/12
1.3 (1.9M)
Virginia Tech Miami 7:30 PM ESPN
Fri., 11/2/12
0.8 (1.2M)
Washington Cal 9 PM ESPN2
Sat., 11/3/12
6.8 (11.3M)
Alabama LSU 8 PM CBS
3.8 (6.0M)
Pittsburgh Notre Dame 3:30 PM NBC
2.8 (4.5M)
Oregon USC 7 PM FOX
2.7
Texas Texas Tech 3:30 PM ABC
Nebraska Michigan St.
1.9 (2.9M)
Oklahoma St. Kansas St. 8 PM ABC
1.9
Temple Louisville 12 PM ABC
Oklahoma Iowa State
1.9
Mississippi Georgia 12 PM CBS
1.5 (2.3M)
Missouri Florida 12 PM ESPN2
1.3 (2.2M)
Illinois Ohio State 3:30 PM ESPN
1.3 (1.9M)
Texas A&M Mississippi St. 12 PM ESPN
0.7 (1.0M)
Arizona St. Oregon St. 10:30 PM ESPN2
0.6 (889K)
Reverse mirror of ABC window 3:30 PM ESPN2
0.3 (505K)
Clemson Duke 7 PM ESPN2
1.0**
TCU West Virginia 3 PM FOX
WEEK ELEVEN
Tue., 11/6/12
0.4 (570K)
Ball State Toledo 8 PM ESPN2
Wed., 11/7/12
0.5 (719K)
Bowling Green Ohio 8 PM ESPN2
Thu., 11/8/12
1.7 (2.7M)
FSU Virginia Tech 7:30 PM ESPN
0.1 (177K)
UL-Monroe Ark. State 7 PM ESPNU
Fri., 11/9/12
0.6 (931K)
Pittsburgh Connecticut 8 PM ESPN2
Sat., 11/10/12
6.1 (9.6M)
Texas A&M Alabama 3:30 PM CBS
3.6 (5.8M)
Notre Dame Boston College 8 PM ABC
2.3 (3.7M)
Oregon Cal 10:30 PM ESPN
2.2 (3.5M)
West Virginia Oklahoma St. 3:30 PM ABC
Penn State Nebraska
1.9 (3.0M)
Kansas St. TCU 7 PM FOX
1.8 (2.6M)
Northwestern Michigan 12 PM ESPN
1.8
Arkansas South Carolina 12 PM CBS
1.6 (2.6M)
Mississippi St. LSU 7 PM ESPN
1.0 (1.7M)
Georgia Auburn 7 PM ESPN2
0.5 (735K)
UCLA Washington St. 10:30 PM ESPN2
0.5 (690K)
Wisconsin Indiana 12 PM ESPN2
0.4 (617K)
Reverse mirror of ABC window 3:30 PM ESPN2
0.2 (287K)
Maryland Clemson 3:30 PM ESPNU
0.1 (219K)
Vanderbilt Mississippi 7 PM ESPNU
0.1 (191K)
Idaho BYU 11 PM ESPNU
0.1 (122K)
Army Rutgers 12 PM ESPNU
1.0**
Oregon St. Stanford 3 PM FOX
WEEK TWELVE
Wed., 11/14/12
0.4 (557K)
Toledo No. Illinois 9 PM ESPN2
0.2 (281K)
Ohio Ball State 8 PM ESPNU
Thu., 11/15/12
0.9 (1.2M)
UNC Virginia 7:30 PM ESPN
Fri., 11/16/12
0.5 (794K)
Hawaii Air Force 9:30 PM ESPN2
0.1 (220K)
FIU FAU 8 PM ESPNU
Sat., 11/17/12
5.1 (8.3M)
Stanford Oregon 8 PM ABC
3.1 (4.9M)
Ohio State Wisconsin 3:30 PM ABC
N.C. State Clemson
2.1 (3.3M)
Kansas State Baylor 8 PM ESPN
2.1 (3.2M)
Oklahoma West Virginia 7 PM FOX
1.8 (2.6M)
Iowa Michigan 12 PM ESPN
0.9 (1.3M)
Northwestern Michigan St. 12 PM ESPN2
0.7 (1.1M)
Tennessee Vanderbilt 7 PM ESPN2
0.6 (845K)
Reverse mirror of ABC window 3:30 PM ESPN2
0.4 (581K)
FSU Maryland 12 PM ESPNU
0.3 (455K)
BYU San Jose St. 10:30 PM ESPN2
0.3 (448K)
Syracuse Missouri 7 PM ESPNU
0.2 (363K)
Arizona Utah 10:30 PM ESPNU
0.1 (192K)
Duke Ga. Tech 3:30 PM ESPNU
2.7**
USC UCLA 3 PM FOX
2.4**
Mississippi LSU 3:30 PM CBS
1.7**
Wake Forest Notre Dame 3:30 PM NBC
WEEK THIRTEEN
Tue., 11/20/12
0.4 (542K)
Akron Toledo 7 PM ESPN2
Thu., 11/22/12
1.1 (1.9M)
TCU Texas 7:30 PM ESPN
Fri., 11/23/12
2.8 (4.2M)
LSU Arkansas 2:30 PM CBS
2.8 (4.1M)
Nebraska Iowa 12 PM ABC
1.9 (2.8M)
West Virginia Iowa State 3:30 PM ABC
1.3 (1.9M)
Arizona St. Arizona 10:30 PM ESPN
1.2 (2.0M)
Washington Washington St. 3:30 PM FOX
1.0 (1.6M)
USF Cincinnati 7 PM ESPN
0.4 (536K)
Syracuse Temple 11 AM ESPN2
0.1 (153K)
Ohio Kent State 11 AM ESPNU
Sat., 11/24/12
9.4 (16.1M)
Notre Dame USC 8 PM ABC
5.8 (9.5M)
Michigan Ohio State 12 PM ABC
5.1 (8.5M)
Florida Florida State 3:30 PM ABC
2.4 (3.9M)
Auburn Alabama 3:30 PM CBS
1.7 (3.1M)
South Carolina Clemson 7:30 PM ESPN
1.5 (2.5M)
Stanford UCLA 6:30 PM FOX
1.5 (2.3M)
Oklahoma St. Oklahoma 3:30 PM ESPN
1.4 (2.3M)
Georgia Tech Georgia 12 PM ESPN
1.2 (2.0M)
Wisconsin Penn State 3:30 PM ESPN2
1.0 (1.6M)
Baylor Texas Tech 2:30 PM FOX
0.7 (1.1M)
Missouri Texas A&M 7 PM ESPN2
0.7 (983K)
Grambling Southern 2:30 PM NBC
0.4 (614K)
Rutgers Pittsburgh 12 PM ESPN2
0.3 (502K)
Mississippi St. Mississippi 7 PM ESPNU
0.3 (401K)
Louisiana Tech San Jose St. 11 PM ESPN2
0.3 (415K)
Virginia Virginia Tech 12 PM ESPNU
0.1 (99K)
Vanderbilt Wake Forest 3:30 PM ESPNU
WEEK FOURTEEN
Thu., 11/29/12
1.2 (1.7M)
Louisville Rutgers 7:30 PM ESPN
Fri., 11/30/12
3.0 (4.9M)
Stanford UCLA 8 PM FOX
0.9 (1.3M)
No. Illinois Kent State 7 PM ESPN2
Sat., 12/1/12
9.8 (16.2M)
Alabama Georgia 4 PM CBS
3.3 (5.2M)
Texas Kansas State 8 PM ABC
2.9 (5.1M)
Wisconsin Nebraska 8 PM FOX
2.3 (3.3M)
Oklahoma TCU 12 PM ESPN
1.2 (2.0M)
FSU Ga. Tech 8 PM ESPN
0.4 (590K)
Tulsa UCF 12 PM ESPN2
0.2 (349K)
Pittsburgh USF 7 PM ESPN2
1.0**
Cincinnati Connecticut 3:30 PM ABC
Boise State Nevada
WEEK FIFTEEN
Sat., 12/8/12
3.8
Army Navy 3 PM CBS

(Data from various sources, including ESPN, Sports Business Daily, Son of the Bronx, and TV By the Numbers)

  • bignasty96

    WOW! ABC averaged 11+ million viewers for Nov. 24 from noon to midnight. That is insane.