NCAA Football

CFP thrillers draw the most non-New Year’s viewers

CFP thrillers draw the most non-New Year’s viewers

The most competitive semifinal pair in the College Football Playoff’s nine-year history drew the most viewers for those games on ESPN outside of New Year’s Day, the network said Monday.

T CU’s dramatic and entertaining wins over Michigan in the Fiesta Bowl and Georgia over Ohio State in the Peach Bowl on Saturday drew an average of 21.7 million ESPN viewers.

The combined margin of seven points in the games was the smallest since the CFP began in 2014. Only three previous CFP semifinal games were decided by less than 10 points.

ESPN reported that it was the third-most-watched CFP semifinal ever, trailing only the first, which took place on Jan. 1, 2015, and the 2018 New Year’s Day semifinal.

The Peach Bowl, the nightcap of the CFP doubleheader, averaged 22.1 million viewers, making it the most-watched Final Four game not played on New Year’s Day and the fourth-most among the 18 semifinal games.

Ohio State’s decisive field goal attempt in the final seconds came almost simultaneously as the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Day in the Eastern Time Zone. The shot went far and the defending national champion Bulldogs advanced to the championship game on Jan. 9 in Inglewood, Calif., to face No. 3 TCU.

The Fiesta Bowl averaged 21.4 million viewers and peaked at 26.4 million.


AP College Football: and

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