Blog Entry

Television ratings not kind to BCS title game

Posted on: January 10, 2012 1:23 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli

Did you watch Alabama beat LSU 21-0 to win the BCS Championship last night? If not, you weren't alone in finding your television entertainment elsewhere.

The overnight ratings for the BCS National Championship Game show that last night's rematch between Alabama and LSU was the lowest-rated title game in the 14-year history of the BCS, bringing in a 13.8 overnight rating, a 14% drop from last year's game between Auburn and Oregon. The previous low had been set in 2002 when Miami played Nebraska for the title and the game brought a 14.3 rating.

There are a few factors that were no doubt in play here. First of all, it seems many college football fans were serious when they said they didn't want to watch a rematch of a game they'd already seen, particularly one that ended 9-6 the first time and didn't exactly provide a lot of excitement. Another factor to consider is that the game was broadcast on ESPN, which is available on cable packages and previous BCS games had always been broadcast on national networks.

The low ratings for the title game followed the trend of the other four BCS bowls as well, as the average rating of all BCS games dropped 10% from the 2010 season and 21% from the 2009 season. Again, this is likely a combination of the games now being broadcast on cable and college football fans who are tiring of the bowl system.

The good news is that with all the momentum that already seems to be in place for the BCS to add a plus-one system in the coming years, the drop in ratings may provide an additional kick in the pants. 

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Since: Aug 25, 2011
Posted on: April 24, 2012 10:15 am

Television ratings not kind to BCS title game

To sum it all up...
What's wrong with the BCS Championship is the BCS, ESPN and that it is unfair.
Fix it today...
It would be easy just say in 2012 everything stays the same except who plays in the Bowl Games and some bowls will change their date.
Four Saturdays and you have an Undisputed National Champion decided on the field of play.
Nobody can complain if a team beats 4 of the best of the best.
Round 1 - Saturday December 15, 8 Bowl Games with the teams with the most wins (11 or more), the 6 AQ Champions and the rest of the 16 made up of the teams with the most wins that were not eliminated in a Conference Championship Game.
Round 2 - Saturday December 22, 4 Bowl Games, with the winners of the Round 1 Bowl Games.
Round 3 - Saturday December 29, 2 Semi-Final National Championship Series Bowl Games
Round 4 - Saturday January 5, 2013, The National Championship Game
Then the 2013 games all on ESPN but also fed through the National Networks that want them.  ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC.
Finally in 2014 say good bye to the ESPN only contract.  the 16 Bowl Games must be on a Network that has the penetration to the most people and locations.
has an example of how this would have worked in the 2011-2012 Season.

Since: Jun 9, 2007
Posted on: January 14, 2012 9:15 pm

Television ratings not kind to BCS title game

No, Alabama is NOT my national champion. I don't believe in BCS and don't really care what kind of crap they pull to get a non division winning, non conference winning team into the championship game without even having to perform. Might have been good for you but means nothing to me. Just like so many other of Alabama's so called championships.

Since: Jan 13, 2012
Posted on: January 13, 2012 1:57 pm

Television ratings not kind to BCS title game

we watched the game. it was a blast! yeah, we blasted through it in 30 minutes fast forwarding every commercial and all the mindless chatter, and rewinding it every time the score changed to see what happened. it was a perfect 30 minute game showcasing just how brilliant we were just recording it and not having to torture for hours on end. i felt sorry for all the folks who don't have a dvr. but, listen, i'll let you in on a little secret. cable companies don't have long-term contracts. so, what you do is call them and find out how long it takes to get an installation date, then set one in advance in time to catch all the games you want, then cancel it right after you're done. order a dvr while you're at it and record everything and watch them all in 30 minutes each if you want. believe me, you don't know the joy of fast forwarding commercials and boring content until you've tried it. all tv watching should be this way...wait, it is for us! horrah! and, if you want to make a difference somehow, write to the marketing departments of sponsors and advertisers of games as well as the cable company, and let them know what you did to express your disgust at the foulness that is the current bcs. the last thing an paying advertiser wants to hear is that their money is being wasted. or, even worse, that their participation actually turned you off from their product. imagine if enough people did just that. the bcs's biggest concern is making money or so it seems. want the bcs to change really fast? cut off their money supply and watch them scramble! do that every bowl season until they get it right. i think we know this ain't going to happen, so don't get all riled up; this is 21st century america afterall. just saying, if you want definitive change, you've got to target the pocketbook. btw, we didn't care who won because it really, really didn't matter this year. we rooted for bama though because every lsu fan we've met, which is like 4, was a complete a-hole! (and, forrest gump is one of our favorite all time movies!) sorry all you lsu fans who are really nice people. but, really! 21-0??? what a shame for lsu, the bcs and college football as a whole. and, what's up with all the mismatches this year? #7 boise vs unranked az st? 56-24??? complete utter shame on the bcs. no honor, no sensibility, no meaning, no, no, no!!! better stop here cuz i'm getting mad!

Since: Sep 6, 2006
Posted on: January 12, 2012 1:35 pm

Television ratings not kind to BCS title game

Absorbed in the south, ignored by the rest of the country.

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: January 11, 2012 7:09 pm

Television ratings not kind to BCS title game

My comment re perfectly stated is in regard to FSU 1857.

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: January 11, 2012 7:06 pm

Television ratings not kind to BCS title game

What more is there to say?  Perfectly stated.

Since: Jan 11, 2012
Posted on: January 11, 2012 5:46 pm

Television ratings not kind to BCS title game

If you don't win your CONFERENCE championship you shouldn't go to a NATIONAL championship game...the low ratings wasn't about avoiding a rematch, it was about snubbing all the potential candidates against LSU who had won their conference championship. The people whose opinion seems to matter most (sportswriters, sportscasters, programmers) dictated the matchup. Its OBVIOUS that they thought Bama was the best team and they wanted them to prove it. Well...they got their way. I consciously boycotted a game I would usually never have missed. LSU should have played the next best conference champ. I would have absolutely watched THAT game. The "plus 1" concept is B.S. It will just instigate more controversy. will certainly provide more $$$$, which is what THAT argument is all about. Rate conference strength by interconference matchups and rate conference champs by "body of work". Use those 2 factors to determine a national championship game between CONFERENCE CHAMPS. Make the other big-time bowls ONLY include top-8 teams.

Congratulations Alabama on winning your B.S. crystal football. How pathetic that you need it so much you resort to politics to get it. 

Since: Nov 24, 2010
Posted on: January 11, 2012 4:51 pm

Television ratings not kind to BCS title game

Duh.... not that Sports Guru,s read anything from the fans, because to hear them tell it they know everything....but just a bit of common sense real life info........ Many people ......Do not have Cable.......or Satellite......if it was broadcast on ABC, it would have had a better audience......Nov 5 match up on CBS had a huge audience...They would have done much better with another Channel......

Since: Feb 23, 2010
Posted on: January 11, 2012 4:10 pm

Television ratings not kind to BCS title game

Monday is the wrong day to play this game.  Should be Saturday.
ESPN is the wrong channel.  Try ABC. 
Rematches are stupid.  Nobody outside of the SEC cared.
The game was predicably boring.  And, it was.
Very few bowl games are worth watching. 
Thanks BCS.     

Since: Jan 11, 2012
Posted on: January 11, 2012 2:46 pm

Television ratings not kind to BCS title game

Waiting 40+ days between these teams final games and the championship is the biggest contributor to the ratings.  The long layoff causes the average fan to lose interest in the momentum the regular season gives.  If there was a playoff system, it would also help.  I watch fewer and fewer bowl games every year, because they have such little meaning.  Not to mention, when I turn on a regular bowl game and half of the seats are empty, I figure if no one is interested in purchasing a ticket, it's probably not worth my time to watch it on tv. 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or