An average 25.5 million viewers tuned into ESPN’s coverage of Monday night’s game, making it the third-most-watched broadcast in cable history.
The biggest night of the cable calendar, the 2014 BCS championship game did not top last year despite the down-to-the-wire victory for the Florida State Seminoles over the Auburn Tigers (34-31). The final score marked a clear departure from the last two years — when lopsided wins prompted audiences to lose interest later in the games. Despite that, Alabama’s 42-14 win over Notre Dame in 2013 averaged 26.4 million viewers.
Cable TV’s biggest broadcast ever remains the 2011 BCS final, which averaged 27.3 million viewers for a narrow Auburn victory over Oregon.
Florida State’s win marks the final college championship game under the BCS, which will be replaced by the College Football Playoff (CFP) next season. The new system, an effort to ensure a consensus top team, will continue to air on ESPN.
The Disney network inked a deal to air the new playoff through at least 2025 to the tune of $7.3 billion.
Photo: The BCS Championship Games – AP Images