Though down from last year, the SEC Championship Game earned the season’s second-best college football overnight.
Saturday’s Auburn/Missouri SEC Championship Game drew an 8.7 overnight rating on CBS, down 13% from Alabama/Georgia last year (10.0), and up 18% from LSU/Georgia in 2011 (7.4). The 8.7 is the highest for a non-Alabama SEC Championship Game since CBS acquired the rights in 2001.
Auburn/Missouri earned the second-highest overnight of the season for any college football game, trailing only Alabama/Texas A&M in week three (9.0) and ahead of the classic Alabama/Auburn “Iron Bowl” in week fourteen (8.6).
On Saturday night, the Michigan State/Ohio State Big Ten Championship Game earned an 8.4 overnight on FOX — up 236% from Wisconsin/Nebraska last year (2.5), and up 95% from the inaugural Wisconsin/Michigan State game in 2011 (4.3). The 8.4 is easily the highest ever for a non-bowl game on FOX, and also ranks as the top non-SEC overnight of the season.
Overall, the top five games of the regular season in the metered markets were Alabama/Texas A&M, Auburn/Missouri, Alabama/Auburn, Michigan State/Ohio State, and Alabama/LSU (6.9).
The ACC Championship Game was not nearly as big a draw, but still hit a multi-year high. The Florida State/Duke blowout earned a 3.8 overnight on ABC, up 171% from Florida State/Georgia Tech on ESPN last year (1.4), up 127% from Clemson/Virginia Tech in 2011 (1.7), and the highest overnight for the game since Virginia Tech/Boston College in 2007 (4.2).
The game also topped last year’s comparable “Saturday Night Football” telecast — Texas/Kansas State — by 15% (3.8 to 3.3).
ABC earned stronger numbers earlier in the day with the Oklahoma/Oklahoma State game (5.2), which earned the third-highest overnight of the day. The game faced minimal competition in the Noon ET timeslot. Later in the day, the defacto Big 12 championship between Texas and Baylor earned a 2.6 overnight on FOX opposite the SEC title game.
Bringing up the rear on among conference championship games, the Stanford/Arizona State Pac-12 Championship Game drew a 1.1 overnight on ESPN — down 67% from Stanford/UCLA on FOX last year (3.3), and down 66% from Oregon/UCLA on FOX in 2011 (3.2). The Fresno State/Utah State Mountain West Championship, which aired in a rare 10 PM ET timeslot on CBS, drew a 1.2* overnight.
* Another SBD article had the MWC Championship Game earning a 1.0 overnight.
(Overnights from Sports Business Daily)