Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Semifinal ratings fall more than a third

Television ratings for Thursday's two College Football Playoff semifinal games were down by more than a third compared to last season, a clear indication that ESPN paid a price for moving the games to New Year's Eve.

ESPN had hoped to turn New Year's Eve into a new sports holiday to showcase the semifinals, much as Thanksgiving has become for the NFL and Christmas for the NBA. The network aggressively marketed the New Year's Eve semifinals in a promotional campaign, but the effort apparently did not succeed.

The lower ratings for the Orange and Cotton bowls on Thursday — each of which became lopsided in the second half — suggested the semifinals are better off on New Year's Day, as last year. More people watch TV on Jan. 1 than a day earlier, when many are working or celebrating.

ESPN was rebuffed in its wish to move the Orange and Cotton games to Jan. 2 this season.

The Rose and Sugar are part of a six-bowl rotation for the national semifinal games. The Rose and Sugar are locked in to playing on Jan. 1 (unless it falls on a Sunday), whether they're semifinals or not. So in years when they aren't, the semifinals won't be on Jan. 1.

The Orange Bowl between Clemson and Oklahoma, which kicked off about 4:10, drew a 9.1 rating, a 38.5 percent drop from last year's first semifinal, Florida State vs. Oregon in the Rose Bowl, which got a 14.8 rating. The number of viewers dropped 44.5 percent from 28,164,000 for the Rose to 15,640,000 for the Orange.

The Cotton Bowl between Michigan State and Alabama, which started about 8:20, drew a 9.6 rating compared to 15.2 for Ohio State-Alabama in the Sugar Bowl last Jan. 1 — a 36.8 percent drop. Viewership crashed 34.4 percent, from 28,271,000 to 18,552,000.

A rating point represents a percentage of all televisions.

Boykin fallout: TCU coach Gary Patterson, who suspended Trevone Boykin for tonight's Alamo Bowl against Oregon after the quarterback broke curfew and was charged with assault on a public servant, said he was disappointed. "Sometimes you have to make decisions you don't want to," he said. "My feelings went out to him. My feelings went out to the team." Boykin apologized in an online post. He said he has no excuses for his "very poor decision" and he was embarrassed.

Pittsburgh: Receiver Tyler Boyd will enter the NFL draft rather than return for his senior season, coach Pat Narduzzi said.

Semifinal ratings fall more than a third 01/01/16 [Last modified: Friday, January 1, 2016 11:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rowdies settle for draw at home

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  2. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.
  3. Rays journal: Cesar Puello, who has one major-league game, claimed off waivers

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Looking to add punch to their right-handed lineup, the Rays claimed OF Cesar Puello off waivers Saturday from the Angels.

  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Mariners game

    The Heater

    SS Adeiny Hechavarria doesn't always look like he's going hard, but he showed impressive reactions Saturday in reversing field to catch a ball that clanked off the catwalk then firing to second to double up Guillermo Heredia on an attempt to tag up.