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USF-UCF makes more viewership history

The "War on I-4" drew the largest TV audience ever for a game between two American Athletic Conference teams.
A mix of UCF and USF fans observe a Bulls' fourth-down play during the second half of Friday's "War on I-4." (DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times)
A mix of UCF and USF fans observe a Bulls' fourth-down play during the second half of Friday's "War on I-4." (DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times)
Published Nov. 30, 2017

ESPN confirmed Thursday last week's "War on I-4" between USF and UCF was the most viewed game ever between two American Athletic Conference teams.

The captivating ebb-and-flow contest, a 49-42 Knights victory televised by ABC, delivered a total live audience of 4.7 million viewers. The ABC game preceding it, Pitt's upset of previously unbeaten Miami, attracted slightly more than 4.6 million.

The Bulls and Knights' audience was 49 percent higher than last year's Black Friday game — Nebraska and Iowa — in the same time slot, according to ESPN.

"I thought we had a good lead-in with the Miami-Pitt game on ABC, and I also thought that the end of that game of course, was magnificent," AAC commissioner Mike Aresco said Monday, after the initial viewership returns trickled in.

"I thought we'd have a tremendous late tune-in for the game. But I'm really thrilled because…it shows what I've been saying all along: There's real interest in this league nationally, and I'm thrilled so many people saw a great game."