BCS: Sugar Bowl Final Rating Up Slightly, Among Lowest Ever For BCS

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The Sugar Bowl managed a slight increase over last year, but still earned one of the lowest ratings ever for the Bowl Championship Series.

Wednesday’s Louisville/Florida Sugar Bowl drew a 6.2 U.S. rating and 10.1 million viewers on ESPN, according to Nielsen fast-nationals — up a tick in ratings and 4% in viewership from Michigan/Virginia Tech last year (6.1, 9.7M), but down 24% and 26%, respectively, from Ohio State/Arkansas in 2011 (8.2, 13.6M).

The 6.2 rating is tied as the fifth-lowest ever for a Bowl Championship Series telecast, matching the 2011 Fiesta Bowl [see chart].

In addition, the 6.2 is the second-lowest for the Sugar Bowl since the 1993-94 season, when Florida/West Virginia drew a 5.2. Only last year’s game drew a lower rating.

Six of the seven lowest-rated BCS bowls have aired on ESPN, and nine of the ten lowest rated have been Sugar or Orange bowls. Twelve of the thirteen lowest rated have involved a team either from the Big East or ACC.

10 Lowest Rated BCS Bowls
Big East/ACC teams in bold

#
Date
Bowl
Away
Home
Net
Rating
Viewers
1 Wed., 1/4/12 Orange West Virginia Clemson ESPN
4.5
7.2M
2 Thu., 1/1/09 Orange Virginia Tech Cincinnati FOX
5.4
9.3M
T3 Tue., 1/3/12 Sugar Michigan Virginia Tech ESPN
6.1
9.7M
Tue. 1/1/13 Orange FSU No. Illinois ESPN
6.1
10.6M
T5 Wed., 1/2/13 Sugar Louisville Florida ESPN
6.2
10.1M
Sat., 1/1/11 Fiesta Oklahoma Connecticut ESPN
6.2
10.8M
7 Mon., 1/3/11 Orange Stanford Virginia Tech ESPN
6.7
10.7M
8 Tue., 1/5/10 Orange Iowa Georgia Tech FOX
6.8
10.9M
T9 Tue., 1/2/07 Orange Louisville Wake Forest FOX
7.0
10.7M
Tue., 1/1/08 Sugar Georgia Hawaii FOX
7.0
11.7M

(Wednesday’s numbers from ESPN Media Zone)

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