Bring two of the biggest names in college football. Have them score 97 points between them. Throw in a couple of over times for good measure.
What you get is a ratings winner for the first weekend of the season.
Texas’ thrilling 50-47 win over Notre Dame pulled a 7.0 rating for ABC/ESPN last night, the second highest kickoff weekend overnight on record, including Labor Day night’s games, and the networks’ best kickoff weekend overnight in the last 11 seasons.
Notre Dame/Texas earns 7.0 overnight, best for opening weekend CFB since 2005: https://t.co/eQGvJmFZsz— Paulsen (@paulsen_smw) September 5, 2016
A ratings point equals 1% of all TV sets in the nation, which 1,118,000 homes. We won’t know a number for viewers for a couple of days, but it will be somewhere between 12 and 13 million.
As expected, the game dominated in-state.
Nielsen locals for ND-Texas on ABC: Austin 25.4, SA 15.1, DFW 13.1, Houston 11.5.— David Barron (@dfbarron) September 5, 2016
That’s a lot of eyes watching, including some no doubt that belong to recruits.
Here is a look at the slate of games overnights for Dallas-Ft. Worth
Raw weekend DFW CFB TV ratings: Texas-ND 13.1; UH-OU 7.3; Ala-USC 5.2; LSU-Wisc 5.0; A&M-UCLA 4.9; Rangers-Astros 3.3; TCU-SDSU 2.1.— Barry Horn (@bhorn55) September 5, 2016
Haven’t been able to find any numbers for CBS’ broadcast of A&M’s overtime win against UCLA, but it had less than half the audience in Dallas as last night’s game.
ESPN is touting their Labor Day weekend lineup as dominating the airways. The USC-Alabama blowout pulled a 4.9 overnight rating, same as the Wisconsin-LSU contest (which went head-to-head with A&M/UCLA).
Oklahoma-Houston was a ratings hit as well.
Okla-Hou: 4.0 overnight & 12.8 in Houston, market’s highest rating for an opening weekend cfb game across ESPN nets pic.twitter.com/3Eyc4pjM63— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) September 4, 2016
As I said, final numbers are a couple of days away, but a couple of things is clear. Having quality match ups on the opening weekend pays off — big, for ESPN and College Football.
Oh, and things are looking up on the 40 Acres.