ESPN’s College Football Playoff Semifinals Average 19 Million Viewers On New Year’s Day

The College Football Playoff semifinals on ESPN on New Year’s Day that sent Alabama and Ohio State to the national championship drew an average of 19 million total viewers between them, ESPN said Tuesday, in line with last year’s numbers.

Across all ESPN platforms, the CFP Semifinals reached 40.8 million viewers, according to the cable network.

The early Rose Bowl game, moved from its home in Pasadena to Arlington, TX, because of Covid-19 concerns, saw Alabama beat Notre Dame 31-14 and drew 18.89M total viewers, up 8% compared with last year’s game. The nightcap, which saw Ohio State beat Clemson 49-28 in the Sugar Bowl, drew 19.15M viewers. They are the top telecasts on cable since the 2020 CFP title game won by LSU.

ESPN on New Year’s Day also aired Georgia-Cincinnati in the Peach Bowl, which drew 8.73M viewers, and Texas A&M-North Carolina in the Orange Bowl which drew 7.58M viewers, up 39% and 25%, respectively, from last year’s comparable time-slot games. The network rounded out its NY6 slate with Oregon-Iowa State in the Fiesta Bowl (6.68M) and Florida-Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl (5.81M).

Overall, the collage lineup combined for third most-watched day ever on the cable network, ESPN said.

ESPN is also home to the CFP National Championship Game, set for Monday, January 11 at 8 p.m. ET in Miami.

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