NCAA Bowls: Holiday Bowl Blowout Down Big; Belk Bowl Up


For the fourth straight year, viewership dropped for the Holiday Bowl.

Thursday’s Baylor/UCLA Holiday Bowl drew 2.9 million viewers on ESPN, down 31% from Texas/California last year (4.2M), and down 48% from Washington/Nebraska in 2010 (5.7M).

The telecast ranks as the least-watched Holiday Bowl since at least 2007 (viewership prior to 2008 was not available). Since earning 6.2 million viewers in 2008, the Holiday Bowl has suffered a decline in viewership each year.

Earlier Thursday, the Cincinnati/Duke Belk Bowl earned 3.9 million viewers — up 12% from North Carolina State/Louisville last year (3.5M), and up 33% from South Florida/Clemson in 2010 (2.9M).

The game ranks as the most-viewed edition of the bowl (previously the Meineke Car Care Bowl) since Pittsburgh/North Carolina in 2009 (6.1M), and the second-most viewed game of the 2012-13 bowl season.

Wrapping up Thursday’s action, the San Jose State/Bowing Green Military Bowl drew 1.9 million viewers — down 17% from Toledo/Air Force last year (2.3M), down 11% from Maryland/ECU in 2010 (2.1M), and a record-low for the five-year old game.

(Thursday’s numbers from TV By the Numbers)