For the second straight year, the Rose Bowl attracted a record-low rating on ESPN.
Tuesday’s Stanford/Wisconsin Rose Bowl earned a 9.4 U.S. rating and 17.0 million viewers on ESPN, according to Nielsen fast-nationals — down 8% in ratings and 3% in viewership from Oregon/Wisconsin last year (10.2, 17.6M), and down 17% in both measures from TCU/Wisconsin in 2011 (11.3, 20.6M).
The 9.4 rating is easily the lowest in the history of the Rose Bowl. The previous low was set last year. Prior to last year, the lowest Rose Bowl rating was a 10.8 for the 1989 game.
The last time the Rose Bowl aired on broadcast television (2009), the game between Oregon and Ohio State drew a 13.2 and 24.0 million viewers.
Despite the record-low numbers, the Rose Bowl was a strong television draw. Excluding the NFL and Olympic Games, only five sporting events all of last year drew more viewers than Tuesday’s game.
(Tuesday’s numbers from ESPN Media Zone)