Television ratings increased by more than a third for the 2013 Orange Bowl, but the numbers were still quite low.
Tuesday’s Florida State/Northern Illinois Orange Bowl drew a 6.1 U.S. rating and 10.6 million viewers on ESPN, according to Nielsen fast-nationals — up 36% in ratings and 47% in viewership from West Virginia/Clemson last year (4.5, 7.2M), but down 9% and 1%, respectively, from Stanford/Virginia Tech in 2011 (6.7, 10.7M).
The 6.1 rating is tied as the third-lowest ever for a Bowl Championship Series game, matching last year’s Michigan/Virginia Tech Sugar Bowl (6.1). Only last year’s Orange Bowl and the 2009 Virginia Tech/Cincinnati Orange Bowl (5.4) earned lower numbers.
The Orange Bowl has now drawn a rating below 7.0 in five consecutive seasons. Combined, the Rose, Fiesta and Sugar bowls have only dipped below 7.0 only twice in the BCS era.
Tuesday’s game also ranks as easily the lowest rated and least-viewed BCS game to involve Florida State. The 2006 Orange Bowl, the most recent FSU appearance in a BCS game, drew a 12.3 rating and 18.6 million viewers.
(Tuesday’s numbers from ESPN Media Zone)