ESPN and ESPN2 saw ratings increase by double digits year over year for the two 2016 College Football Playoff Semifinals games held December 31 at 3 PM and 7 PM Eastern, respectively. In addition, both games saw year-over-year increases in overnight viewing, and set streaming records.
Alabama’s 24-7 victory over Washington at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl (3 PM) delivered a 11.5 overnight on ESPN and ESPN2. An additional average per-minute viewing audience of 470,000 viewers was added by streaming, with 1,378,000 unique viewers overall. The overnight for the game was a 17% increase over the same game last season. Likewise, the streaming audience was up 57% in average minute audience, 16% in unique viewers, and 40% in total minutes watched.
The Semifinal game between Ohio State and Clemson held at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl (7 PM) delivered a 10.5 overnight on ESPN and ESPN2, with streaming adding an average per minute audience of 410,000 viewers and 1,174,000 uniques. The overnight represents a 5% increase over last season’s equivalent game. The streaming audience increase was 29% average per minute audience, 12% uniques, and 32% total minutes over last year’s equivalent game.
By itself, ESPN saw overnight increases for both games also saw overnight increases, with the Huskies-Crimson Tide game earning a 10.9 overnight (12% increase over last year’s first semifinal), and the Buckeyes-Tigers game earning a 10.0 overnight compared to last year’s equivalent game’s 9.9.
On streaming, both games are the most-streamed College Football Playoff Semifinals ever, which also makes them the most-streamed New Year’s Six and non-Championship college football games ever on ESPN.