College Football Gains Viewers, TV And Online

college football stock photoABC and ESPN garnered under-the-radar ratings growth this season on Saturday night with college football.

This season--through 13 games--ABC grew 24% to 8.0 million viewers from 6.4 million in 2007 for its "Saturday Night Football Presented by Southwest Airlines" series. For the night overall, ABC says it was the No. 1 network nine times among households and total viewers.

For ten of 13 games, ABC was No. 1 in a variety of demographics: adults 18-49 and 25-54. For 11 of those games, it led in younger viewers 18-34 and men 18-34. And for all but one of those Saturday night games, it was tops in older men 25-54.

The best-rated game of the year was Texas Tech's big upset victory over then-leader Texas with a 7.5 household rating--the network's fifth-most-viewed regular-season college football game ever.



Overall, ABC college football coverage, which includes its Saturday daytime games, averaged 6.3 million total viewers--7% higher than its 5.9 million of a year ago.

College football content on also recorded new heights--a 6% growth in page views to nearly 885 million and a 5% increase growth in visits to 232 million. ESPN online also took in more than 101 million video streams of college football features and highlights.

ESPN Mobile had 59.9 million visits during the season, and 185% growth in page views to 639 million, compared with a year ago. Fans spent more than 7 minutes per visit on average with college football content.

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