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After Three Losses, Colorado’s Ratings Bonanza Is Losing Steam

  • Colorado’s double-overtime loss to Stanford drew just 3.3 million viewers, according to Sports TV Ratings.
  • Up until now, the Buffs created a ratings frenzy — with ESPN and Fox fighting over the chance to broadcast them.
After three losses, the Colorado Buffaloes' ratings bonanza appears to be losing steam.
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

This season, the Colorado Buffaloes created a ratings frenzy — with ESPN and Fox, college football’s broadcast duopoly, each fighting over the chance to broadcast them. 

But after losing three games and suffering a major viewership decrease this week, Deion Sanders’ Buffs appear to be losing steam.

On Friday night, Colorado’s double-overtime loss to Stanford drew just 3.3 million viewers, according to Sports TV Ratings. That’s a huge drop from the 7.24 million who watched them lose to USC in Week 5 — the last time the Buffs were on national TV.

The Buffs’ mediocre performances have certainly contributed to the decrease in viewership. But so did the Friday night broadcast slot, which typically draws fewer viewers than Fox and ESPN’s top windows on Saturday morning and evening, respectively. 

The Colorado-Stanford game didn’t kick off until 10 p.m. ET — which Sanders called “the stupidest thing ever invented in life.”

“Who makes these 8 o’clock games? Dumbest thing ever,” he said Wednesday. “What about the East Coast — do they even care about ratings? Is anyone watching it?”

Even if the Buffs have lost the intrigue of the larger college football world, they’ve already achieved an unprecedented ratings feat. 

The Buffs averaged 8.5 million viewers through September, according to Fox Sports president of Insights and Analytics Michael Mulvihill — double what any network averaged for its top college football games.

Despite the ratings drop, Sanders hasn’t lost his cultural notoriety just yet. Less than 24 hours after blowing a 29-0 lead, he was portrayed in a sketch on the season premiere of “Saturday Night Live.”

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