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. 

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview. Like us? Tell our Facebook page.  

Since: Mar 13, 2009
Posted on: January 10, 2012 2:50 pm

Television ratings not kind to BCS title game

Most boring quarter I have watched this year, didn't need to see the rest. Too many bowl games plus they really don't count. We do need an 8 team play off that starts two weeks before Christmas weekend, the four remaining teams play Christmas weekend with the real National Championship game being played New Years Day. I'd use the Rose, Fiesta, Cotton, Sugar, Orange and the new Dallas stadium in the mix with the National Championship game being played at one of the sites that was used two weeks prior.

Since: Sep 16, 2006
Posted on: January 10, 2012 2:49 pm

Television ratings not kind to BCS title game

Jetsfan actually next year the NCG will have a lower payout because of the ratings, thats how the payout is determined, its based on the value of the advertising for that game. If ratings are low one year the next year the payout is lowered because the network (ESPN) can not make money if the ratings are low because the advertisers are not going to pay the price to get to fewer households. This was discussed at length on the Bowl show on ESPN before the bowl season started.  Of the bowls played this year, all had lower payouts than last year. The payouts have gone down every year for the last 5 years. The BCS and NCAA sees this and a remedy will be in the works. I recently wrote Tom Osborne about this very topic and his reply was that the NCAA knows something different has to come about because this format is losing money.

Since: Mar 7, 2008
Posted on: January 10, 2012 2:43 pm

Television ratings not kind to BCS title game

 watched the first half , went to bed. i am a die-hard CFB fan , but enough is enough . he "National Champion" didn't even win their division , much less their conference championship. Worse still , the game was a dud... good defensive struggle my lilly white butt , two offenses that couldnt roll a football down a slide and hit sand. I know they are good teams , but a playoff should decide who is awarded at the end , not a bunch of opinionated fans who call themselves voters. FCS has it right , now fix this !

Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: January 10, 2012 2:43 pm

Television ratings not kind to BCS title game

Won't mean a thing in the end. They're getting their money so nothing is changing. Have fun non-SEC fans!

Since: Oct 23, 2011
Posted on: January 10, 2012 2:42 pm

Television ratings not kind to BCS title game

Keep in mind these are BCS ratings and from where I sit it was a combination of the selection process and the ESPN base instead of network television.  ESPN needs some clearing out (the comments before and during the Orange Bowl demonstrated such bias I wondered if each announcer needed to go back to broadcasting 101) as does the bowl selection committees (Michigan and Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl).  I am not so sure there is a problem with the BCS (the method and madness prior to the BCS was worse for picking the national champion and creating national interest) although I do think the weight given to human polls should be less and conference champions given more respect.  When there are great match ups e.g. Ohio and Utah State, TCU and Louisiana State, Standfor and OSU there are great games to watch.

Since: Oct 22, 2007
Posted on: January 10, 2012 2:41 pm

Television ratings not kind to BCS title game

jltexas, I'm one of the idiots I guess. I honestly didn't even think of satellite. I thought the poster had contradicted himself. DOH! Embarassed lol

Since: Jan 5, 2010
Posted on: January 10, 2012 2:40 pm

Television ratings not kind to BCS title game

gotta have a playoff system in place exactly for this reason. How many deserving teams were all 1 loss teams?? You can now make a case that 3 or 4 teams could have been National Champs this year because a computer determined who played in a winner take all game. Absolute Garbage

Since: Sep 16, 2006
Posted on: January 10, 2012 2:39 pm

Television ratings not kind to BCS title game

  ......  Odd that last years game, which was also on ESPN got a 17.8.  ESPN is available on all cable networks and all satelite systems, so every house hold that has either of these has ESPN.  Since over the air networks are gone ( ya need a special box to get it now) there are only 18% of all households in the US that do not have access to ESPN because they do not have cable or satelite.  The first half of the game had less than a 10% share. The low ratings are because the people that watch college football are tired of the SEC bias by the media and in the human polls. The SEC was not that strong and rarely is as strong as the polls want to say they are.  Defenses are great, but when you look at the NFL even the best defenses allways struggle against the high powered offenses, therefore any high powered offense has a better chance of winning a game against a defense than the defense does of containing the offense. The real high powered offenses in college ball deserve more credit than these defenses of the SEC that play inferior teams to bolster those stats.  Fact is I seriously doubt Alabama or LSU could win 7 to 8 games playing in the BIG 12. 

Since: Jan 14, 2010
Posted on: January 10, 2012 2:37 pm

Television ratings not kind to BCS title game

I don't really care about a playoff, I just think there are about 10 - 15 too many bowls.  It's not special for teams or fans if you go to a bowl every single year.  Get rid of a bunch of bowls and stop rewarding mediocrity.  And put the games on at a decent hour.  How hard is it to figure this out? 

Since: Feb 23, 2008
Posted on: January 10, 2012 2:35 pm

Television ratings not kind to BCS title game

I agree with King 1.

Remembner when the major bowl games were on Jan 1 ( Rose, Fiesta, Cotton, Sugar & Orange.  they could do that again when nobody has to go to work.  Why have them on Mon-Fri.  Have the major bowls on Jan 1 and the National Chmpionship the following Sat.
I gues they expect everybody to taqke off work to go pay the high game costs.

Also ,put the games back on ABC,NBC or CBS.  These bowls are so money hungry, they could care less about the fans, or, weather the chools lose money going to these games.    

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