Virginia Tech-Boise State Most Viewed ESPN Regular-Season CFB Game

Sept. 9, 2010


GREENSBORO, N.C.--With the Virginia Tech-Boise State drawing a record 7,251,601 households and a rating of 7.3 to its Labor Day Monday Night telecast, in terms of households and it becomes the most-viewed college football game (regular season or bowl game) in ESPN history and ties for the second-highest TV rating for a regular season college football game since 1994 with the 2009 USC-Ohio State game (7.3).

Only the Florida State-Miami game of 1994 (7.7) has had a higher rating for ESPN over the past 16 years.

ACC teams have now been directly responsible for or involved in creating six of the top eight most-viewed telecasts of regular season college football in ESPN history.

ESPN’s Most-Viewed Regular Season College Football Games

Rk Year Game HH
1 2010 Virginia Tech-Boise St 7,251,601
2 2009 Ohio St-USC 7,243,011
3 2006 Miami-Florida State. 6,329,828
4 2009 Miami-Florida State 5,820,001
5 2006 West Virginia-Louisville 4,915,915
6 2008 Miami-Florida 4,886,206
7 1994 Miami-Florida State 4,846,320
8 2007 Florida State-Clemson 4,842,356
Games Involving ACC Teams are in Bold

Here is ESPN’s Release on the Ratings for the Virginia Tech-Boise State Game

Boise State vs. Virginia Tech: ESPN and’s Most-Viewed College Football Game;
Most-Viewed Program of the Day

ESPN’s Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 6) prime-time telecast of Boise State defeating Virginia Tech 33-30 averaged 7,252,000 households, making it the network’s most-viewed college football game – covering regular-season and bowl games – in households. With 9,888,000 viewers (people 2+), the telecast ranks as the second most-viewed college football game among total viewers (trailing only ESPN’s coverage of USC at Ohio State in 2009 which averaged 10,586,000 viewers). The Labor Day matchup averaged a 7.3 rating (equaling the average for USC at Ohio State) and stands as the highest rating for a college football game in 16 years (Florida State at Miami averaged a 7.7 on October 8, 1994). Additional highlights include:
  • The telecast was the most-viewed program of the day across all networks -- cable and broadcast -- among households, total viewers, and all key male and people demographics. In addition, ESPN was the No. 1 network of the night among households, total viewers, and all key male and people demographics.
  • The matchup is the third most-viewed ad-supported cable telecast across all networks in 2010 among households behind ESPN’s Monday Night Football (Minnesota at Chicago) and the NFL Pro Bowl coverage. It is also the fifth most-viewed ad-supported cable telecast in 2010 among total viewers.
  • The game stands as ESPN’s most-viewed and highest-rated non-Saturday college football telecast since at least 1990 (when ESPN began tracking audiences).
  • The telecast was the most-viewed and highest-rated college football game of the five-day opening weekend schedule across all networks (cable or broadcast).
With more than 230,000 unique viewers, the game was also the most-watched college football game ever on, ESPN’s 24/7 broadband network. Through the opening weekend from Thursday through Monday, college football games on reached more than 1 million unique viewers, equaling nearly 69 million total minutes.