Overnight ratings rose for the Sugar Bowl, but remained among the lowest ever for a Bowl Championship Series game.
The Louisville/Florida Sugar Bowl drew a 6.4 overnight rating on ESPN Wednesday night, up a tick from Michigan/Virginia Tech last year (6.3), but down 24% from Ohio State/Arkansas in 2010 (8.4).
The 6.4 overnight is the fourth-lowest ever for a Bowl Championship Series game, ahead of only the 2012 Orange Bowl (4.5), the 2009 Orange Bowl (5.9) and the 2012 Sugar Bowl (6.3).
Including Tuesday’s Orange Bowl (6.5), four of the five lowest BCS overnights of all-time have taken place in the past two seasons alone.
Locally, the Sugar Bowl drew a 28.4 rating in Louisville — a record for a bowl game on ESPN in the market. For some perspective, Kentucky’s win in the NCAA Tournament national title game drew a 51.1 in the market, and last year’s Kentucky Derby scored a 31.7. Both events aired on broadcast television.
In Florida, the game drew a 16.0 in Jacksonville and a 14.1 in Orlando. In both markets, Florida’s blowout loss drew a higher rating than Florida State’s blowout win in the Orange Bowl the previous night (14.1 in JAX, 11.9 in ORL).
(Wednesday’s numbers from ESPN Media Zone)