Wednesday December 6, 2023

Ohio State-Notre Dame Scores Historic 10.5M Viewers for NBC

  • Saturday night’s thriller in South Bend was NBC’s second-most-watched regular-season college football game ever.
  • Excluding Labor Day holiday weekends, the contest was the most-watched primetime regular-season college football game on any network since 2018.
Ohio State players celebrate after after their defeat of Notre Dame in the final seconds at Notre Dame Stadium.
Kyle Robertson / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Ohio State’s last-minute heroics to beat Notre Dame 17-14 in South Bend this past Saturday was apparently enough to attract a historic broadcast audience.

NBC Sports announced that Saturday’s contest averaged 10.5 million viewers — NBC’s second-most-watched regular-season college football game ever, trailing only the “Game of the Century” between Notre Dame and Florida State that attracted 22 million viewers in Nov. 1993.

The Ohio State-Notre Dame game peaked at 14.2 million viewers between 10:30 and 10:45 p.m. ET when the Buckeyes were driving down the field for the winning score. Excluding Labor Day holiday weekends, the contest was the most-watched primetime regular-season college football game on any network since 2018.

The tense matchup was also a streaming win for NBC Sports: With an Average Minute Audience of 605,000 on Peacock, Saturday’s game was also NBC Sports most-streamed college football simulcast ever.

Peacock may have seen a boost now that it’s being shown in public spaces: In August, the streamer reached a deal with EverPass Media to digitally show its games at bars, restaurants, and other commercial establishments.

Notre Dame football continues to be an enormous draw for NBC, which began showing Irish games on its network in 1991. The school is reportedly aiming for $65 million to $75 million in its next round of media rights negotiations.

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