ESPN’s coverage of the College Football Playoff National Championship averaged 33.4 million viewers, the most for any cable television program, according to live-plus-same day figures released by Nielsen Tuesday.
Ohio State’s 42-20 victory over Oregon Monday surpassed the previous record set 11 days earlier when an average of 28.27 million viewers watched the Buckeyes’ 42-35 upset of top-ranked Alabama New Year’s Day in the Sugar Bowl, which served as the second College Football Playoff Semifinal.
Viewership was up 30 percent over the 25.57 million average for ESPN’s coverage of last year’s Bowl Championship Series National Championship between Auburn and Florida State.
Monday’s viewership topped all but one of the 12 BCS National Championships that aired on broadcast television. Texas’ victory over USC in the 2006 Rose Bowl averaged 35.63 million on ABC. All 20 of the most-watched cable programs have aired on ESPN.