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Auburn's BCS nail-biter over Oregon on ESPN was cable's most-watched program ever

Auburnbcs Pro football isn't the only hot ticket on TV these days. Why, there's also college football.

Monday's Tostitos Bowl Championship Series (BCS) on ESPN averaged 27.3 million total viewers, according to the Nielsen Co., the highest total ever for a cable TV program dating back to at least 2001. In fact, the game blew away the previous record, also held by ESPN for a Monday Night Football matchup between Green Bay and Minnesota last year (21.8 million).

How did it happen? Well, Monday's event was quite a game between Auburn and Oregon, with the Auburn pulling out a last-second 22-19 victory.

The numbers will bring a sigh of relief to ESPN executive suites, which aired the entire BCS lineup for the first time and earlier saw some lower-than-broadcast ratings for events such as the Rose Bowl.

"ESPN's inaugural telecasts of the BCS culminated with a thrilling finish viewed by a record audience," ESPN president George Bodenheimer said in a statement.

— Scott Collins (Twitter: @scottcollinsLAT)


Photo: Auburn quarterback Cam Newton in the BCS championship game. Credit: Matt Sullivan/Reuters.



Comments () | Archives (7)

Of course the Rose Bowl ratings were low. Everyone tuned in channel 7 (ABC) and did not find it on. No one knew it was going to be on ESPN.

I dozed off during that snoozefest.

I can't wait to cancel my direct tv. My contract is going to be done and then I will be done paying for TV. I can't believe they pulled this. They can take their darn sports and shove it. I love my sports but not gonna be a slave to it.


The Rose Bowl rocked. It was stellar. But not as STELLAR a show as last night's championship game.

Sad for the Ducks - who could have won it all just as likely as Auburn - given that a last second (literally) field goal won it all for Auburn. And that's all.

The only criticism I have for ESPN is the prostituted number of ads, ads, ads. I have never experienced so many. It TOOK away from the game - and believe you me we were all numb from being assaulted by them so much that by half time no one was paying attention to any of them. Not a single one of them.

But other than that - ESPN had great camera coverage. Great game last night.

Go Ducks - next year.

great game! oregon will be back! i love my ducks!!!!

. . . to say nothing of radio listeners. ESPN isn't normally viewable here without Cable(not available) or Satellite TV. Resisting ala carte, satellite providers ask a high price for a bunch of channels they like but I don't want, so I'm not about to subscribe again to one of them. I really like college football and watch over-the-air broadcasts if they are available.


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