Georgia’s 33-18 victory over rival and defending national champion Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship game Monday on ESPN was watched by 22.6 million viewers across the wide range of the network’s platforms, a total it said made it the biggest event on cable TV since the LSU-Clemson title game in 2020.
Still, the game was the second-lowest total for a title game since the CFP title structure was implemented for the 2014-2015 season. The Alabama-Georgia title game in 2018, for example, was watched by 28.44 million viewers. The top CFP draw was the first one, Ohio State-Oregon, which was watched by 34.6 million.
Monday’s viewer total surpassed by 19% total viewers last year’s pandemic-impacted CFP championship game, when Alabama blew out Ohio State 52-24, a game drew a CFP-era low 18.6 million viewers.
Last night’s game in Indianapolis was a much closer affair until the Bulldogs pulled away in the fourth quarter to snap a seven-game losing streak against their SEC Conference foes; the Crimson Tide, the top seed in the CFP, had beaten Georgia last month in the SEC title game.
ESPN didn’t break out Monday’s individual ratings across the 13 ESPN-branded networks, dubbed the MegaCast, which aired the game in various forms, from sky-view cameras to split screens and more. It did report that 29% of people and 38% of adults 18-49 watching television Monday were tuned in to the game.
This season’s New Year’s Six college football bowl games and finale, all on ESPN, were up 16% in viewership over last year’s edition.