For the first time since 2015, Alabama was not involved in the college football national title game. The ratings for last night’s LSU win over Clemson are in, and indicate that people didn’t miss the Crimson Tide too much.
Two years ago, Alabama and Georgia made for a ratings bonanza, pulling in a gaudy 28.4 million viewers. Given Georgia’s long wait for a national title, and how large those two brands are, it made sense.
Things dipped last year, the third national championship between Alabama and Clemson. It pulled in the worst rating of any of the now-six College Football Playoff finals, suggesting some Alabama vs. Clemson fatigue.
The shocking Clemson blowout from the jump probably didn’t help draw in viewers as the game went along.
Last night’s game, featuring LSU back in the title game for the first time since 2011-12, had a slight uptick from last season. Per SportBusiness Group editor Eric Fisher, the 25.6 million viewers were up about 1-percent from last year’s game.
ESPN gets 25.6 million US viewers for its MegaCast coverage of the CFP title game btw LSU and Clemson. Total is up 1 pct from a year ago, but down from the boffo 28.4 million two years ago for Alabama-Georgia.
— Eric Fisher (@EricFisherSBG) January 14, 2020
That number is pretty good news for ESPN. It also suggests that Clemson fatigue might be the bigger factor than Alabama fatigue, given the monster numbers for Alabama without Clemson two years ago.
Either way, I have to think the Worldwide Leader will take it. As a viewer, having a new, exciting team like LSU involved was certainly fun, especially with fun personalities like Joe Burrow and Ed Orgeron along for the ride.