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Crimson Tide, Longhorns Bring Loyal Markets to BCS Championship Game
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Crimson Tide, Longhorns Bring Loyal Markets to BCS Championship Game

This year’s college football BCS Championship Game features two undefeated national powerhouses: the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Texas Longhorns. The overwhelming talent and prominence of each program is undeniable. But will they carry enough “juice” to draw in TV viewers?

When the Longhorns dramatically stunned the USC Trojans in 2006, it became the most watched national championship game (35.6 million viewers) of the BCS era. But heavy star power – with names like Young, Leinart, and Bush – and an opponent from the second highest media market (Los Angeles) had a lot to with that.

MOST WATCHED BCS CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES, SINCE 1999
RANK DATE BOWL TEAMS AVG # OF VIEWERS
1 1/4/2006 * Rose Texas vs. USC 35,630,000
2 1/3/2003 Fiesta Ohio State vs. Miami 29,104,000
3 1/8/2007 * BCS Florida vs. Ohio State 28,795,000
4 1/3/2001 Orange Oklahoma vs. Florida State 27,240,000
5 1/1/2000 Sugar Florida State vs Virginia Tech 26,962,000
Source: The Nielsen Company

* – Live + Same Day Viewing Estimates On This Page Include DVR Playback On The Same Day, Defined As 3AM-3AM

One thing’s for sure: the teams’ home markets will certainly be watching in full force. When Alabama defeated Florida in the SEC Championship Game last month, a whopping 50.2% of all TV households in the Birmingham market were tuned in. Meanwhile 32.3% of Austin’s TV households tuned in to Texas’s narrow 13-12 win over Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship Game.

And if the championship game is the main course for Birmingham and Austin viewers, both markets seem to be enjoying the football hors d’oeuvres served up so far in the bowl season. Birmingham, with a 10.6 average rating, sits at the top of the 56 metered markets tuning into this year’s bowl games through January 4th. Austin, meanwhile, is tied for 9th among all metered markets with and average rating of 6.0 for all bowl games so far this season.

TOP RATED MARKETS, 2009-10 BOWL SEASON (thru 1/4/10)
RANK MARKET (DMA) RATING SHARE
1 Birmingham 10.6 17
2 Columbus, OH 8.6 15
3 Knoxville 7.7 12
4 Oklahoma City 7.2 12
5 Tulsa 6.8 11
T6 New Orleans 6.7 11
T6 Nashville 6.7 11
8 Atlanta 6.6 12
T9 Jacksonville 6.0 11
T9 Dayton 6.0 11
T9 Austin 6.0 12
Source: The Nielsen Company

Note: Live + SD ratings for bowl games thru 1/4/10