The Ohio State/Michigan rivalry topped all non-”Iron Bowl” games last weekend, but was flat compared to last year.
Last Saturday’s Ohio State/Michigan college football game drew a 5.8 final rating and 9.5 million viewers on ABC, flat in ratings and viewership compared to the same match-up last year (5.8, 9.5M), and up 14% and 19%, respectively, from the teams’ 2011 meeting (5.1, 8.0M).
The game ranked second for the weekend behind Saturday’s Alabama/Auburn game (8.2, 13.8M), and fourth for the season behind Alabama/Auburn, Alabama/Texas A&M in week three (8.5, 13.6M) and LSU/Alabama in week eleven (6.9, 11.9M).
Ranking third for the weekend, ESPN drew a 3.4 U.S. rating and 5.7 million viewers for Texas A&M/Missouri — up 100% in ratings and 87% in viewership from South Carolina/Clemson last year (1.7, 3.1M), and the network’s top Saturday game since week two.
A pair of Black Friday games rounded out the top five. LSU/Arkansas drew a 3.1 and 5.0 million viewers on CBS, up 11% in ratings and 17% in viewership from last year (2.8, 4.2M), and ABC’s Nebraska/Iowa game drew a 2.5 and 4.0 million — down 11% and 3%, respectively, from last year (2.8, 4.1M).
Outside of the top five, ABC’s Georgia/Georgia Tech game drew a 2.2 and 3.5 million viewers opposite Alabama/Auburn — down 57% in ratings and 58% in viewership from Florida/Florida State last year (5.1, 8.4M). The UCLA/USC “Saturday Night Football” game drew a 2.1 and 3.5 million, down 78% and 79%, respectively, from last year’s Notre Dame/USC game (9.4, 16.1M). Despite the big drop, UCLA/USC beat Notre Dame/Stanford on FOX head-to-head (2.0, 3.3M).
In other holiday weekend action, Fox Sports 1 drew a 1.3 and 2.2 million for the Black Friday Oregon/Oregon State game — the network’s most-viewed telecast since rebranding from Speed Channel in August.
FS1 did not fare quite as well on Thanksgiving night, earning a 0.5 and 1.0 million for the Texas Tech/Texas game. While that ranks as the network’s sixth-largest college football audience, the game was beaten head-to-head by the Mississippi/Mississippi State game on ESPN (0.9, 1.6M).
The week’s smallest draw on broadcast was the Grambling/Southern Bayou Classic on NBC (0.5, 620K), while the biggest dud overall was Temple/Memphis on ESPNEWS — which drew a 0.0 and just 13,000 viewers.