SPORTS WRAP College Football Upsets; Good-Bye, Shea Stadium; Chicago, Chicago!

SPORTS WRAP College Football Upsets; Good-Bye, Shea Stadium; Chicago, Chicago!

Each week, Nielsen Sports’ analysts offer their take on the biggest sports media headlines.

College Football: Quartet Of Upsets

Oregon State’s stunning upset of top ranked USC was only the harbinger of what was to come in a wild weekend of college football upsets. 

Oregon State’s victory last Thursday night drew 6.3 Million TV viewers, the largest audience for ESPN’s Thursday Night College Football this season.  The next day, the University of Michigan overcame a 19-point deficit to beat the (then) undefeated Wisconsin Badgers in front of 1.3 million ESPN viewers.

Meanwhile, the Southeastern Conference lived up to its billing as the most competitive in the nation, delivering two thrilling upsets in one night: Ole Miss topped the Florida Gators by one point, followed by the Alabama Crimson Tide’s defeat of the Georgia Bulldogs — watched by 6.7 million ESPN viewers. 

A ranking of this season’s most watched college football games, to date, is below.

Date Network College Football Matchup Viewers (P2+) *
9/13/2008 ABC USC – Ohio State 11,800,000
9/6/2008 ESPN Miami – Florida 6,954,000
9/27/2008 ESPN Alabama – Georgia 6,683,000
9/25/2008 ESPN USC – Oregon State 6,456,000
9/1/2008 ESPN Tennesee – UCLA 6,240,000
Source: The Nielsen Company (September 1, 2008 – September 27, 2008).
*Data includes Live and Same Day DVR viewing.


Goodbye, Shea Stadium

Mets fans who hoped Shea Stadium would receive an October farewell were denied on the final day of this year’s baseball season — for the second consecutive year.  806,000 New York viewers, the largest audience for the Mets this season, watched Shea’s sad ending on Sunday.  Next year, the Mets will move next door, to Citi Field.


Chicago: Double Baseball Trouble

Neither New York team made it to the playoffs this year, but for the first time in more than a century, both Chicago teams are in the post-season.  The White Sox’ defeat of the Detroit Tigers drew 451,000 Chicago viewers.  The next day, the Sox’ tie-breaker victory over the Minnesota Twins nearly doubled its Chicago TV audience — to 750,000 viewers — setting a new record in the process.