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: Jan 11, 2008
Posted on: January 10, 2012 3:28 pm

Television ratings not kind to BCS title game

People aren't watching because the whole system looks corrupt.  Secret computer rankings and self-serving, biased human voters decide who plays for the "title" with little concern for transparency or fairness (nick saban had a vote and ranked Ok St 4th but Gundy didn't even get a vote, for example), the big 6 conference members structure the bowl selection rules to protect their guaranteed, undeserved revenue streams that are paid by fans who have begged for a playoff system for years yet are repeatedly ignored. 

College football is heading down the same path as boxing.  Corruption, championship matchups based on money instead of merit, ignoring the customer, etc.  It's a short term gain but a long term loss.  But, like in boxing, all the decision-makers involved became multi-millionaires 
;on the fan's dollar so why would they care about the sport's future when they can get rich now?

Since: Jan 2, 2008
Posted on: January 10, 2012 3:27 pm

Television ratings not kind to BCS title game

The people have spoken.  We do not believe the SEC is the greatest conference there ever has been.  We did not fall for the media hype of the SEC.  We knew they can't play offense and they can not win a bowl game that isn't on their home field.  No more rematches.  Just because the media wants a rematch for a story doesn't mean the people want it.  If you do not believe me look at the ratings of your field goal filled game.

Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: January 10, 2012 3:24 pm

Television ratings not kind to BCS title game

I said prior to the first game that there should be no rematch.  Remember, the media was already talking about a rematch and the first game had not even been played yet.  Then, after the game, the rematch articles continued.  The media, and ESPN and CBS specifically, are the ones that gave us this game; forced it down our throats to a degree.  Now, the media wants to act all shocked by the poor ratings that they pandered for.  There was no way a national championship game between two teams from the same conference was going to draw a lot of interest.  The SEC was going to win and lose either way, but there was nothing in it for any fans from any other conference.  Ok State may not be much of a national draw just yet, but every SEC hater in the country would have been pulling for them if they had been in it.  As it stood, they had no rooting interest, so many did not watch. 

Since: Oct 22, 2007
Posted on: January 10, 2012 3:17 pm

Television ratings not kind to BCS title game

In all honesty, it's the BCS that keeps me from watching college football. I don't want to invest my time and develop a rooting interest in a system that ends like this every year, where no one is happy except the team who wins the last game and their fans. I like football, but what's the point when they just pick two teams to play for the championship instead of have teams win that right in a playoff?

If they ever adopt a playoff format, I admit I wouldn't watch the whole season, but I'd watch the playoff games. I think there are a lot of people like me in that respect and I don't know of any current college football fan who would stop watching if they adopted a playoff format. I understand the money involved in the BCS, but there has to be a better way than the current system. Some of the ideas to incorporate the BCS into a playoff format that other posters have floated seems like great ideas and as close to a best-of-both-worlds scenario as you're going to get. I wish the NCAA would wake up because March Madness is super-exciting and it would be nice to see something similar for football.

Since: Jan 10, 2012
Posted on: January 10, 2012 3:16 pm

Television ratings not kind to BCS title game

the greed of the colleges and the corporate mouse led to the stretching out of the bowls, instead of abc, cbs, nbc, all having games on a three day holiday. ruining, i believe, what was a new year tradition. cbs and nbc had no college games sat or sun. and abc had one that the mouse said they could have.  i gave up on espn four years ago, and hope someone comes along on free airwaves or free highspeed streaming to show us holiday games.

Since: Oct 6, 2006
Posted on: January 10, 2012 3:14 pm

Television ratings not kind to BCS title game

The people have spoken and they hate the system.  Hopefully the loss of revenues from advertisers, as they see that trend, will wake the NCAA to implement a plus 1 system! 


Since: Nov 2, 2011
Posted on: January 10, 2012 3:14 pm

Television ratings not kind to BCS title game

This article is so misleading it's almost criminal.... The ratings are down from two years ago because THE GAMES ARE ON CABLE NOW!!!!! Last years NCG game was the highest rated cable progam in history..#1 all-time...It was still rated lower than the year before that was on broadcast tv.
The commissioners and ESPN know the BCS ratings are higher than ever, which is why they are so unwilling to change. 

Since: Apr 17, 2007
Posted on: January 10, 2012 3:13 pm

Television ratings not kind to BCS title game

I live in SEC country and didn't want this game.  Alabama didn't have the resume Okie State did, didn't deserve to be there.  I'm tired of the favorite-son Saban - who seems to be second to only The Hat in BS breaks.

Since: Feb 27, 2011
Posted on: January 10, 2012 3:09 pm

Television ratings not kind to BCS title game

Hey SEC fans, this was the game everyone wanted to see right?

Since: Nov 2, 2006
Posted on: January 10, 2012 3:09 pm

Television ratings not kind to BCS title game

I boycotted the game and I don't know anyone that watched the game. Listening to sports talk today, this sentiment if felt nationwide. This game had no appeal outside of SEC country. Last year's game did well on ESPN, so that can't be a factor. Honestly I'm glad I didn't watch, watching re-runs of tv shows on Netflix was a great deal more entertaining. Anyway, congrats to 'Bama, let's hope the Big 10 or Pac 12 produces a significant challenge to the SEC next year to end this streak...

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