Friday January 2nd, 2015

The two semifinals for the College Football Playoff broadcast on ESPN were the highest rated ever for a non-championship game on ESPN and ABC, ESPN said in a release.

ESPN’s broadcast of Oregon’s 59-20 rout of Florida State posted a 15.5 overnight rating, while the 42-35 win by Ohio State over Alabama earned a 15.3 rating, the highest-rated New Year’s Day college football games on any ESPN network.

Both games also earned a higher overnight rating that the BCS Championship last season.

Last year’s BCS Championship between Florida State and Auburn had a 14.6 rating and was seen 25.57 million people. By comparison, 27.32 million viewers watched Auburn’s 22-19 victory over Oregon in 2011 and 26.4 million saw Alabama’s 42-14 victory over Notre Dame in 2013.

Birmingham was the top television market for both telecasts. Portland was second among the Rose Bowl telecast, followed by Dayton (26.7), Knoxville (25.1), Jacksonville (24.0), and Greenville, N.C. (23.9). Columbus was the second highest-rated metered market for the Sugar Bowl with a 43.7 rating. Dayton (38.7), Cleveland (32.5) and New Orleans (25.0) rounded out the top five.

- Scooby Axson

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