College Football Playoff TV ratings rise on return to Jan. 1

Jan 2, 2018

With the semifinals back New Year's Day, ESPN viewership for the College Football Playoff was the highest it has been since the first season of the postseason system in 2015.
The double overtime Rose Bowl thriller between Georgia and Oklahoma drew a 14.8 overnight Nielsen rating and average viewership of 27 million, up 39 percent over last season's early semifinal.
Georgia beat Oklahoma 54-48 and ESPN said the television rating reached a high of 17.3 in overtime.

Georgia running back Sony Michel runs for a touchdown during overtime in the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game against Oklahoma, Monday, Jan. 1, 2018, in Pasadena, Calif. Georgia won 54-48.
Credit AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

The Sugar Bowl between Alabama and Clemson got a 12.5 rating and average viewership of 21.1 million, up 10 percent from last season's second semifinal.
The last two seasons the semifinals were played on Dec. 31. The CFP drew record viewership for ESPN in its first season when games were played on Jan. 1, 2015.