ESPN’s first game of the 2014 college football season declined by double-digits from last year.
The Boise State/Mississippi college football game drew 2.4 million viewers on ESPN Thursday night, down 23% from the network’s opening night doubleheader last year (3.1M).
Of the ten opening night games on ESPN dating back to 2009, Thursday’s game ranks sixth.
Despite the somewhat middling numbers, the game was easily the top sporting event of the night — crushing NFL preseason action on NFL Network by 97% (2.4M to 1.2M). Viewership figures were not available for the opening night games on SEC Network and Fox Sports 1.
Viewership For CFB Opening Night on ESPN
Past five years
|2014||Thu., 8/28/14||8:00 PM||Boise State/Mississippi||2.42M|
|2013||Thu., 8/29/13||6:00 PM||UNC/South Carolina||3.65M|
|2012||Thu., 8/30/12||7:00 PM||So. Carolina/Vanderbilt||4.13M|
|10:15 PM||Washington State/BYU||2.19M|
|2011||Thu., 8/31/11||8:00 PM||UNLV/Wisconsin||1.94M|
|2010||Thu., 9/2/10||7:30 PM||So. Miss/South Carolina||2.51M|
|11:00 PM||Southern Cal/Hawaii||2.13M|
|2009||Thu., 9/3/09||7:00 PM||South Carolina/N.C. State||3.26M|
|10:00 PM||Oregon State/Boise State||3.86M|
(Thu. numbers from TV By the Numbers)