Jan. 10, 2013
For Immediate Release
Football Bowl Association (FBA)
More Than Half of All Bowls Show Increase in Attendance
ORLANDO (FBA) – Eighteen of the 35 Football Bowl Association member bowls had increased attendance during this year’s bowl season. Overall, attendance at bowl games fell 2.4 percent this year compared to the same games last year, the Football Bowl Association announced today.
‘We had some great crowds at many bowls across the country, ‘ said Wright Waters, Executive Director of the Football Bowl Association. ‘Historically, the bowls have averaged close to 50,000 fans in attendance, and this year held true to form.’
The largest crowd of the bowl season belonged to the Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO with 93,359 fans in attendance to watch Stanford play Wisconsin. Finishing second in attendance, the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic had the second-largest crowd in the game’s 77-year history, with 87,025 on hand to watch Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M knock off Oklahoma.
Fourteen bowl games had crowds in excess of 50,000 and overall, 1,722,833 college football fans attended bowls this season.
‘If you compare bowl game attendance to other sports, including regular season college football, the stats this year measure up to what we are seeing across the country,’ said Waters. ‘There are lots of factors that affect attendance whether it is the state of the economy, weather or the matchups … many things bowls have control over, and many they don’t.’
For more information about the Football Bowl Association, visit footballbowlassociation.org.
Viewership Increases for ESPN Bowl Games
January 10, 2013
BCS National Championship Second Most-Viewed Cable Program Ever, Chick-fil-A Bowl Most-Viewed Non-BCS Bowl on ESPN Ever
Birmingham Tops All Markets
ESPN’s extensive coverage of the 2012-13 college football season – 306 exclusive regular-season games and 33 bowl game telecasts – concluded with multiple viewership highlights, including:
 The second most-viewed program in cable television history
 ESPN’s most-viewed and fourth most-viewed non-BCS bowl games ever
 Viewership increases for this season’s BCS bowls and non-BCS bowls over last year
 Birmingham averaging a 10.3 metered market rating for the 29 ESPN bowl game telecasts
Bowl Championship Series
ESPN averaged 15,131,000 viewers and a 10.1 household coverage rating (8.8 US rating) for its five BCS bowl game telecasts, a viewership and ratings increase of 7 percent (vs. 14,080,000) and 4 percent (9.8 coverage rating), respectively, over last season.
The BCS schedule was highlighted by the second most-viewed and second highest-rated program (US rating) in cable television history for the season-ending Discover BCS National Championship. The matchup – a 42-14 Alabama win over Notre Dame – averaged 26,380,000 viewers and a 15.1 US rating (17.5 coverage rating).
Most-Viewed Non-BCS Bowl & Post-Season Increase
The 2012-13 season also included two of ESPN’s top four most-viewed non-BCS bowl game telecasts ever with the Chick-fil-A Bowl and Outback Bowl. The Chick-fil-A Bowl New Year’s Eve telecast – a 25-24 Clemson victory over LSU – averaged 8,557,000 viewers (a 5.6 household coverage rating), making it the network’s most-viewed non-BCS bowl ever. The Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day – South Carolina beating Michigan 33-28 – is ESPN’s fourth most-viewed non-BCS bowl ever with an average of 7,583,000 viewers (a 4.9 household coverage rating).
This season also garnered ESPN’s 14th most-viewed non-BCS bowl game telecast with the Valero Alamo Bowl. The December 29 matchup of Texas beating Oregon State 31-27 averaged 6,757,000 viewers (a 4.8 coverage rating).
Overall, the 28 non-BCS bowl telecasts on ESPN, ABC, ESPN2 and ESPNU averaged 3,661,000 viewers and a 2.3 US rating – an increase of five percent for both (vs. 3,483,000 and 2.2) over last season.
Birmingham No. 1 in the Top 25 Metered Markets
Birmingham, the highest-rated metered market for ESPN’s regular-season telecasts for 12 straight years, was the highest-rated market for ESPN’s 28 non-BCS bowl telecasts, averaging a 10.3 rating. All 25 of the top markets averaged a 4.0 rating or better with Greenville, Austin, New Orleans and Knoxville posting a 6.0 or higher rating.
Three markets that were not among the top 25 highest-rated markets at the conclusion of the regular season made it to the top 25 for bowl telecasts: Kansas City (13th bowl vs. 26th regular season), Detroit (tied 14th bowl vs. tied 27th regular season) and Phoenix (tied 22nd bowl vs. tied 27th regular season). Meanwhile, three of the highest-rated markets at the conclusion of the regular season did not make the top 25 for bowl games: Norfolk (tied for 17th), West Palm Beach (tied 22nd) and Cleveland (tied 22nd).
The top 25 markets for ESPN’s bowl AND regular-season telecasts for the 2012-13 season:
Bowl Rank Market Bowl Rating Season Rank Market Season Rating No. 1 Birmingham 10.3 No. 1 Birmingham 8.9 No. 2 Greenville 6.7 No. 2 Greenville 4.7 No. 3 Austin 6.2 No. 3 Knoxville 4.6 New Orleans 6.2 No. 4 New Orleans 3.7 No. 5 Knoxville 6.0 No. 5 Jacksonville 3.6 No. 6 Oklahoma City 5.9 Columbus 3.6 Columbus 5.9 No. 7 Atlanta 3.5 No. 8 Tulsa 5.5 No. 8 Oklahoma City 3.4 No. 9 Nashville 5.4 No. 9 Nashville 3.3 No. 10 Portland 5.1 No. 10 Memphis 3.1 Jacksonville 5.1 Austin 3.1 No. 12 Dayton 4.9 No. 12 Tulsa 2.5 No. 13 Kansas City 4.6 Charlotte 2.5 No. 14 Memphis 4.5 Las Vegas 2.5 Richmond 4.5 No. 15 Portland 2.3 Detroit 4.5 Richmond 2.3 Atlanta 4.5 No. 17 Orlando 2.2 No. 18 Orlando 4.4 Dayton 2.2 Las Vegas 4.4 Norfolk 2.2 No. 20 Tampa-St. Petersburg 4.1 No. 20 Louisville 2.1 Charlotte 4.1 Tampa-St. Petersburg 2.1 No. 22 Louisville 4.0 No. 22 West Palm Beach 2.0 Phoenix 4.0 Greensboro 2.0 Ft. Myers 4.0 Cleveland 2.0 Greensboro 4.0 Ft. Myers 2.0
Regular Season: Most-Viewed Series & Extensive Schedule Reaches Millions
ESPN’s Saturday Night Football Presented by Windows 8 on ABC was the highest-rated and most-viewed college football series among all networks carrying the sport this season with an average of 6,518,000 viewers and a 4.0 rating. The Saturday Night Football broadcast of Notre Dame defeating USC 22-13 on November 24 was ABC’s second most-viewed and second highest-rated regular-season game since 1991, averaging 16,059,000 viewers and a 9.4 rating.
For the season, ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3 covered 314 regular-season Football Bowl Subdivision games exclusively – 203 more than every other national network combined (CBS, FOX, NBC, FX, NBC Sports Network and CBS Sports Network).
Overall, ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 combined to reach more than 187,000,000 viewers via game telecasts. Combining ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2 with ESPNU’s extensive lineup and the networks averaged 2,018,000 viewers for 224 regular-season games. ESPN offered games across every day of the week with select Tuesday and Wednesday matchups and a regular schedule of Thursday, Friday and Saturday telecasts.