The Fiesta Bowl earned one of its lowest ratings since joining the BCS, but still performed fairly well for ESPN.
Thursday’s Oregon/Kansas State Fiesta Bowl drew a 7.4 U.S. rating and 12.3 million viewers on ESPN, down 12% in ratings and 10% in viewership from Oklahoma State/Stanford last year (8.4, 13.7M), but up 19% and 27%, respectively, from Oklahoma/Connecticut in 2011 (6.2, 10.8M).
The Fiesta Bowl aired directly after the Rose Bowl in each of the past two seasons.
The 7.4 rating is tied as the second-lowest for the Fiesta Bowl in the BCS era, matching Utah/Pittsburgh on ABC in 2005.
With that said, the game finished well ahead of the January 1 Florida State/Northern Illinois Orange Bowl (6.1, 10.6M) and the January 2 Louisville/Florida Sugar Bowl (6.2, 10.1M).
Excluding BCS National Championship games, Thursday’s Fiesta Bowl ranks sixth out of the twelve BCS bowls on ESPN (dates back to 2011).
(Thursday’s numbers from ESPN, The Futon Critic)