Television ratings in 2012 were higher across the board, but the increase was even more exponential at the top.
Fans in the biggest city in Alabama obviously did not want to miss a minute of their Tide’s run towards a second-straight BCS National Championship berth. More to the point, 2012 marked the 12th consecutive year Birmingham held the highest college football ratings.
Every football program understands that the season is a marathon, not a sprint. Birmingham showed its dedication to its program week in and week out, but the highest-rated game of the year was the Notre Dame-USC season finale.
The Golden Domers’ win sent the Irish to the title game, and it was viewed by 16,059,000 people. In fact, the broadcast was ABC’s second highest-rated single-game telecast since 1991. The only game viewed by more people was when No. 2 Michigan traveled to No. 1 Ohio State in 2006, which was seen by 21,037,000 viewers.
Other ratings notes, according to ESPN MediaZone include:
- Overall, ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 combined to reach more than 187,000,000 viewers.
- All three of Tennessee’s metered markets finished in the top 10 with Knoxville leading the way at third. The home market of the Tennessee Volunteers jumped from 10th last year, averaging a 4.6 rating. Nashville at ninth (3.3 rating) and Memphis at 10th (3.1 rating) were tied at 16 last year with a 2.5 rating.
- Every market in the top 10 but Columbus and Oklahoma City finished with a higher average rating than in 2011, led by Knoxville with a 53 percent increase (4.6 vs. 3.0). Birmingham posted a 51 percent increase over last year’s leading 5.9 rating.
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