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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Ohio State-Michigan Thriller Produces Record Viewership For Fox

  • Saturday’s game averaged just over 19 million viewers — the most-watched regular-season college football game in Fox’s history.
  • The network’s pregame show, Big Noon Kickoff, reportedly edged out ESPN’s College Gameday in the viewership battle for the first time.
Michigan Wolverines running back Blake Corum rushes in the second half against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan Stadium.
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

One of the most consequential editions of The Game between Ohio State and Michigan yielded unprecedented television viewership.

Saturday’s 30-24 victory for the Wolverines over the Buckeyes on Fox averaged just over 19 million viewers — the most-watched regular season college football game in the network’s history and the most-watched game on any network since 2011.

It was an 11% increase in viewership from last year’s version of the rivalry game and was, of course, the most-watched game of the college football regular season. Fox adds that it was also the most-streamed game contest in its history. 

It was also the second-most watched iteration of The Game, trailing only 2006’s “Game of the Century,” which attracted over 21 million viewers for a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup, per SportsMediaWatch.

The matchup’s 9.0 rating was the third-best for the rivalry all-time and the best since 2016.

It wasn’t Fox’s only win on Saturday.

The network’s pregame show, Big Noon Kickoff, attracted 2.34 million average viewers, just enough to edge out ESPN’s College GameDay in the viewership battle — the first time that has happened, per Andrew Marchand

This year’s edition of The Game certainly lived up to its hype: tickets to the game on the secondary market were selling for record-high prices in the lead-up.

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