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ABC's Alabama-Michigan Tops Overnights For Opening Weekend Of College Football

ABC's Alabama-Michigan Tops Overnights For Opening Weekend Of College Football

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ABC’s broadcast of Alabama's 41-14 win over Michigan in the Cowboys Classic Saturday night led all sports telecasts over Labor Day weekend with a 4.7 overnight Nielsen rating. That figure is flat compared to the LSU-Oregon matchup in the game last year. ESPN’s 12:00pm ET telecast of Ohio-Penn State, the first game in Happy Valley since the death of former coach Joe Paterno and first since the team was put on probation for the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case, led all cable TV games on Saturday with a 2.5 overnight rating. The net’s Clemson-Auburn Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic in primetime earned a 2.2 overnight, down slightly from a 2.3 overnight for the comparable Boise State-Georgia game last year. Georgia Tech-Virginia Tech in primetime on Labor Day earned ESPN a 2.9 overnight, down 12% from a 3.3 rating for Miami-Maryland last year. “College GameDay” earned a 1.3 overnight for its first telecast of the season, down from a 1.7 last year.

LABOR DAY WEEKEND COLLEGE FOOTBALL OVERNIGHTS
DATE
NET
GAME
START (ET)
RAT.
9/1
ABC
Michigan-Alabama (Cowboys Classic)
8:00pm
4.7
9/3
ESPN
Georgia Tech-Virginia Tech
8:00pm
2.9
8/31
ESPN
Boise State-Michigan State
8:00pm
2.5
9/1
ESPN
Ohio-Penn State
12:00pm
2.5
9/1
ESPN
Clemson-Auburn (Chick-Fil-A Kickoff)
7:15pm
2.2
9/1
ABC
(regional)
3:30pm
2.2
9/1
ESPN
Bowling Green-Florida
3:30pm
2.0
9/1
CBS
Notre Dame-Navy
9:00am
1.9
9/1
ESPN
Arkansas State-Oregon
10:30pm
1.6
9/2
ESPN
Kentucky-Louisville
4:00pm
1.4
9/1
Fox
Hawaii-USC
7:45pm
1.4
9/2
ESPN
Alabama State-Bethune Cookman
12:00pm
0.7
9/1
ESPN2
Northwestern-Syracuse
12:00pm
0.6
9/1
ESPN2
(regional)
4:00pm
0.6
8/31
FX
Marshall-West Virginia
12:00pm
0.4
9/1
FX
Colorado State-Colorado
4:00pm
0.3
     

GETTING THE FIRST ONE OUT OF THE WAY
: Fox earned a 1.4 overnight for Hawaii-USC, the debut broadcast of the net's new primetime Pac-12 package. The net also earned a 1.9 overnight for the premiere of its “Fox College Saturday” pregame show from 7:15-7:45pm (Austin Karp, THE DAILY). In Tampa, Tom Jones noted Fox' primetime package debuted Saturday and asked, "I have one question: Did anyone see it?" The problem Fox is going to see most weeks is that the game it airs "is not going to be as intriguing as ABC's Saturday night game." Fox' "best hope is that the ABC game turns into a blowout early and folks flip over to a much closer game on Fox." Meanwhile, the pregame show hosted by Erin Andrews, Eddie George and Joey Harrington debuted 15 minutes late due to an overrun with the Phillies-Braves game, and Jones noted the issue with the show "is that it airs in the early evening when a slew of games are being televised." Jones: "Why watch a pregame show about a game that hasn't started yet when you can watch an actual game?" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 9/4).

MIXED BAG FOR FOX SPORTS: In Oklahoma City, Mel Bracht wrote FSN's telecast of Oklahoma-UTEP Saturday night "left something to be desired." Announcers Mike Morgan and J.C. Pearson "failed to explain a UTEP penalty ... that left the Miners deep in their territory, failed to give the yardage on Michael Hunnicutt's field goal for the Sooners and had incorrect yardage on OU's second touchdown drive." Sideline reporter Laura McKeeman, a former beauty pageant contestant, "stood out for her looks, but not for her comments." Meanwhile, the game included several promos "for Sooner Sports TV, which is expected to include OU programming" on FS Oklahoma and FS Southwest. The school's partnership with FSN "has not been officially announced" (OKLAHOMAN, 9/3). In Denver, Dusty Saunders wrote FX analyst Joel Klatt has been "heavily promoted as one of the broadcasting stars" on Fox, and he "lived up to his billing" during Saturday's Colorado State-Colorado game. Klatt was in "fine form throughout, particularly when pinpointing quarterback play" (DENVER POST, 9/3).