NFL Playoff Ratings Steady. College Football Bowl Games....Not So Much.

Monday, January 05, 2009


The NFL's Wildcard Weekend saw some great games, and in turn, some pretty solid ratings. FOX's coverage of the Eagles-Vikings game on Sunday garnered the largest set of numbers with a 19.9 overnight Neilsen number (up 7% from last year's Titans-Chargers on CBS), and the Chargers victory over the Colts brought in an 18.3 for NBC (up 9.6% over the Jags-Steelers game on the same network).

The other two contests, Falcons-Cards and Ravens-Dolphins, didn't fair so well, but they still pulled in a 14.3 and 17.0 for NBC and CBS respectively. Only the Atlanta-Arizona game saw a significant drop (-7.1%) over last year's contest in the same time slot (Skins-Seahawks on NBC). While those tallies are certainly welcomed by the NFL, the amateur circuit of Bowl Games isn't fairing nearly as well. In fact, Bowl Game ratings are downright dreadful in some cases.

As far as BCS games go, only ABC's airing of the Rose Bowl (12.6) has gained over last year, but the 2008 "Grandaddy of Them All" clocked in as third worst game since the Rose Bowl joined in the BCS. The Sugar Bowl only received an 8.5, and the Orange Bowl had it's worst ratings ever with a pathetic 6.1, passing 2007's matchup between Wake Forest and Louisville that came in just under 7.0.

With all of these ratings coming in lower and each year, you have to think about how many people would have watched the Orange Bowl if it was in fact a Playoff Game, and not just a crappy BCS matchup. The answer is obviously more, but for some reason, College Football and the BCS still have the wool pulled over their eyes when it comes to this topic.

(Numbers via SBD)

11 Comments:

the BCS is pathetic..hopefully this would push the trend towards a playoff

English Maestro said...
Jan 5, 2009, 3:37:00 PM  

True, but the Cotton Bowl and nearly all of ESPN's games did well (see ratings on Poinsettia, Meineke, Champs, Emerald, Alamo). St Pete and Indy not so well, but those were terrible games.

Anonymous said...
Jan 5, 2009, 3:40:00 PM  

This just proves, once again, that the NFL is king.

GMoney said...
Jan 5, 2009, 4:11:00 PM  

I would also surmise that Fox's crappy production had a lot to do with it as well. I'm honestly in shock that they think that they are putting on a good product. When Daryl Johnston is by a mile your best analyst, you've got problems. And yes, I know we haven't heard Tim Ryan yet, but if he is any bit as bad in college as he is in the NFL, it will surely be an atrocious night that not even Matt Vasgersian can save.

But back to Fox, the number of band shots are laughable. Charles Davis and his Mangina are atrocious. I know 3-man booths are not always popular, but at the very least, he needs to be in one in order to be even thought of as possibly being passable (and I'm not talking about bringing Barry Alvarez back, I'm talking of putting a credible analyst with him). Too many times and too often did Thom Brennaman have to fill up dead air when Davis did not talk after a play. I may be mistaken here as I'm going by memory, but towards the beginning of the game there was a string of 3 plays where Davis did not say a word. Aspeaking of Brennaman, the only thing he is good for is a dramatic call at the end of a game (see Boise State-Oklahoma Fiesta Bowl and the Falcons-Bears game this NFL season), other than that he is nothing special at all and at times can be Jim Nantz with his monotonous delivery. As far as Kenny Albert goes, while not a bad PbP guy and certainly all around better than Brennaman, he is very forgettable. I can enjoy his broadcasts and not shout at my TV to criticize him or correct mistakes, but at the same token, after the game, I can't remember a thing he said or any of his calls. 5 years after he leaves the business, chances are I won't remember his existence.

JFein said...
Jan 5, 2009, 4:15:00 PM  

Why in the hell is there a game on Thursday of this week?

Can't they get this shit sorted out during the week when they play all the other goddam games?

Are they trying to consider the college student athlete as a professional now?

I mean, wouldn't it make a lot of sense to do this now?

hollywood wags said...
Jan 5, 2009, 4:18:00 PM  

Most universities breaks goes on till late January. I go to the University of Missouri, and I don't have class till the 22nd. Most big universities are like that. The times aren't usually a problem. Also most college athletes only take 12 hours a semester depending on the sport.

Anonymous said...
Jan 5, 2009, 4:57:00 PM  

Tv, specifically ESPN, is the only entity that could get a playoff system in place.

Brian said...
Jan 5, 2009, 5:13:00 PM  

Not only were the ratings down, but from the view on my couch it looked like attendance was as well. Aside from the Rose Bowl I saw plenty of empty seats.

joepadon said...
Jan 5, 2009, 5:44:00 PM  

Brian, I agree with your assertion. Within 5 years, we'll have a playoff set up....ESPN didn't bring the bid w/o having the strings attached to include a playoff.

Either way, getting the BCS games back where they belong makes me feel better. The playoff coming attached will top it off.

TomahawkFlop said...
Jan 5, 2009, 5:45:00 PM  

shouldn't that be "Falcons-Cards and Raven-Dolphins didn't fare so well"?

Steve said...
Jan 5, 2009, 10:28:00 PM  

Just think how many people would read your blog if you could hold your ignorant opinions to yourself.

Barry O'Manson said...
Jan 6, 2009, 12:14:00 AM  

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