An all-time classic between Florida State and Auburn could only match last year’s blowout between Alabama and Notre Dame.
The Florida State/Auburn BCS National Championship Game earned a 15.7 overnight rating on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNEWS Monday night, even with Alabama/Notre Dame on ESPN alone last year (15.7), and up 14% from Alabama/LSU on ESPN in 2012 (13.8). The traditional telecast on ESPN had a 15.3 overnight.
The 15.7 overnight is tied for tenth out of the sixteen national championship games in the BCS era (1999-2014). The only games to earn lower overnights were Alabama/LSU in 2012, LSU/Ohio State on FOX in 2008 (15.6), USC/Oklahoma on ABC in 2005 (14.7), LSU/Oklahoma on ABC in 2004 (14.4), and Miami/Nebraska on ABC in 2002 (14.3).
Though the numbers were relatively low historically, Florida State/Auburn is tied as the second-highest rated cable program ever in the metered markets, trailing only the Auburn/Oregon title game in 2011 (16.1).
In addition, Monday’s 15.7 overnight is the highest for a non-NFL sporting event since Game 7 of the Spurs/Heat NBA Finals (17.7).
Locally, the BCS National Championship Game earned a 55.8 rating in Birmingham — up 1% from Alabama/Notre Dame in the market last year (55.1), but down 9% from Alabama/LSU in 2012. The last time Auburn was in the title game — against Oregon in 2010 — the game drew a whopping 67.0 in the market.
Jacksonville, FL, was the second-highest rated market (31.1), with Knoxville (26.6), Atlanta (25.8), Orlando (24.9), and Tampa-St. Petersburg (24.2) rounding out the top five.
(Monday’s overnight from ESPN Media Zone)