Through college football’s first five weeks, ABC’s Saturday Night Football is averaging a total live audience (TV + Streaming) of 6,201,000 viewers, the most-watched college football franchise on any network. The television audience is averaging 6,100,000 viewers a game, 28% better than the next best window on any other network and up 3% from the first five weeks of ABC’sSaturday Night Football last season. The franchise’s streaming audience has garnered 101,000 average minute viewers per game, up 84% year over year.
Accounting for all ABC games (16 games), the network’s total live audience is 5,760,000 viewers per game, college football’s most-watched network. The television audience (5,659,000 viewers) and streaming audience (101,000 viewers) is up 16% and 90%, respectively, year over year.
Louisville-Clemson Delivers Large Audience
In week 5, ABC’s Saturday Night Football featured the season’s first top 5 matchup – No. 3 Louisville at No. 5 Clemson (8 p.m.). The much-anticipated, ACC showdown generated a total live audience of 9,494,000 viewers, the most-watched Saturday college football game of the season across all networks. ABC’s TV audience of 9,294,000 viewers is the third most-watched October Saturday Night Football game ever (34 games).
|1||13,251,000||Notre Dame at Florida State||October 18, 2014|
|2||10,367,000||Penn State at Ohio State||October 25, 2008|
|3||9,294,000||Louisville at Clemson||October 1, 2016|
Saturday Night Football dates back to 2006
The stream of the Tigers’ 42-36 victory generated an average minute audience of 200,000 viewers with 812,000 unique viewers watching a total of 51,107,000 minutes, making it the second-most streamed regular season college football game ever for ESPN.
Additional Louisville at Clemson Highlights:
- ABC Wins the Night: ABC was the most-watched network in prime time across all broadcast and cable in all key demographics — households, persons 2+, men 18-34, men 18-49, men 25-54, persons 18-34, persons 18-49, and persons 25-54 while ESPN ranked No. 2 (Kentucky at Alabama and Arizona at UCLA) among men 18-34, men 18-49, men 25-54, persons 18-34, and persons 18-49.
- Year Over Year Increase: The Cardinals-Tigers’ total live audience (9,494,000 viewers) was up 23% from Notre Dame at Clemson (7,718,000 viewers), last season’s week 5Saturday Night Football
- Record Setting Louisville Game: ABC’s TV audience was the best ever for a Louisville football regular season game on any ESPN network, surpassing the previous high — West Virginia at Louisville on Nov. 2, 2006 on ESPN — by 45% (6,395,000 viewers).
Additional Week 5 Highlights:
- Wisconsin at Michigan (3:30 p.m. on ABC) delivered a total live audience of 6,990,000 viewers, week 5’s second-most watched game across all networks and one of the most-watched games of the season.
- Stanford at Washington (Friday, Sept. 30, at 8 p.m. on ESPN) delivered a total live audience of 3,424,000 viewers, the second-most watched Friday game on ESPN on record*, trailing only Boise State at Michigan State from week 1 in 2012 (non-thanksgiving day weekend).
- Texas at Oklahoma State (noon on ABC) with a total live audience of 3,852,000 viewers was up 38% year over year to the comparable game window (Texas at TCU).
ESPN/ABC Set the Pace Across All Networks; ESPN Streaming Usage Increase Continues
Through week 5, ESPN/ABC has combined to televise the three most-watched college football games across all networks and seven of the top 8.
|1||10,945,000||Notre Dame at Texas||Sept. 4, 2016||ABC|
|2||9,294,000||Louisville at Clemson||Oct. 1, 2016||ABC|
|3||8,354,000||Ole Miss vs. Florida State||Sept. 5, 2016||ESPN|
|4||8,169,000||Alabama at Ole Miss||Sept. 17, 2016||CBS|
|5||7,944,000||USC vs. Alabama||Sept. 3, 2016||ABC|
|6||7,832,000||LSU vs. Wisconsin||Sept. 3, 2016||ABC|
|7||6,851,000||Wisconsin at Michigan||Oct. 1, 2016||ABC|
|8||6,216,000||Florida State at Louisville||Sept. 17, 2016||ABC|
Additionally, this year’s three most-watched college football games — Ole Miss-Florida State, Louisville-Clemson, and Notre Dame-Texas — represent the three most streamed regular season college football games ever for ESPN.
|Game||Date||Average Minute Audience (Rank)||Unique Viewers (Rank)||Total Minutes Viewed (Rank)|
|Ole Miss vs. Florida State||Sept. 5, 2016||231,000 viewers (1st)||854,000 (1st)||59,700,000 (1st)|
|Louisville at Clemson||Oct. 1, 2016||200,000 viewers (2nd)||812,000 (2nd)||51,100,000 (2nd)|
|Notre Dame at Texas||Sept. 4, 2016||194,000 viewers (3nd)||786,000 (3nd)||49,900,000 (3nd)|
*Records date back to 1990
Latest posts by Mark Blankenbaker (see all)
- VIDEO: Scott Satterfield Provides Spring Practice Update - February 25, 2021
- VIDEO: Chris Mack, Carlik Jones, Malik Williams & Jae’Lyn Withers Notre Dame Post-Game - February 23, 2021
- Short-handed Cards Bounce Back to Beat Notre Dame - February 23, 2021