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‘College GameDay’ Garners Best Two-Week Viewership Since 2010

  • The first two iterations of ESPN’s “College GameDay,” have garnered more average viewers than any year since 2010.
  • The network is trying to push the narrative that its still a college football leader, despite losing out on the Big Ten’s future contract.
Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman

Since ESPN withdrew from negotiations to be part of Big Ten football’s next media contract, the network has been dropping hints it still plans to be the leader in college football coverage.

The latest statistic to support the network’s narrative: The first two iterations of ESPN’s Saturday morning college football show, “College GameDay,” have averaged more viewers than any year since 2010.

About 2.1 million viewers have watched on average — a 19% increase compared with the first two weeks of 2021. 

Alabama’s thrilling last-second win over Texas on Saturday undoubtedly helped ratings. Interest in the show could also have been elevated by its newest full-time member, Pat McAfee.

Despite losing Big Ten rights in 2023, ESPN is still poised to dominate much of the college football landscape. 

It will gain exclusive rights to the SEC in 2024, which will include Texas and Oklahoma. It’s set to have more than half of all college football viewership minutes for viewers between 18-49 in 2024, the network previously calculated.

And ESPN won’t stop there. It’s also interested in future media deals with the Big 12, Pac-12, and College Football Playoff, a source previously told Front Office Sports.

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