Monday night's national title game between Ohio State and Oregon pulled in an 18.5 overnight TV rating, the highest in ESPN history, the network announced in a release. It's a 21 percent increase over last year's game between Florida State and Auburn, the last ever BCS National Championship Game, which drew 15.3. ESPN's previous highest rating was the 2011 BCS National Championship Game between Auburn and Oregon, drawing a 16.1 rating.
ESPN's 'Megacast,' which offered different viewing options on the network's other channels, combined for a 18.9 metered market average, per the release. That's up 20 percent from last year's MegaCast, which drew a 15.7 average.
Oregon-Ohio State Delivers 18.5 Metered Market Rating
Monday night's inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T (8:30 p.m. - midnight ET) - Ohio State's 42-20 victory over Oregon at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas - generated a 18.5 overnight rating, the highest metered market ever for ESPN according to Nielsen. Last night's National Championship game was a 21% increase over the 2014 BCS National Championship on ESPN (Florida State vs. Auburn, 15.3). Also, the final game of the new College Football Playoff format surpassed the 16.1 overnight rating for the 2011 BCS National Championship (Auburn vs. Oregon) which held the previous best in cable history.
The Oregon-Ohio State game rating peaked from 9:30 p.m-9:45 p.m. with a 20.5 metered market rating.
In the primary home markets of the two schools, the telecast delivered a 51.2 in Columbus, the No. 1 overall market, and a 37.6 in Portland, Ore., good for fourth overall. The top 10 metered markets (in addition to those of the competing teams) are the following: Columbus, Dayton (43.8), Cleveland (41.3), Portland, Birmingham (36.1), Cincinnati (26.5), Jacksonville (25.7), Knoxville (25.5), Greenville (24.1) and Atlanta (23.0).
Additionally, the National Championship set overnight post season college football records in 22 different markets in the following cities: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Dayton, Denver, Ft. Myers, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Norfolk, Philadelphia, Portland, Raleigh-Durham, Richmond, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.
College Football Playoff "Megacast"
In addition to the traditional telecast, ESPN offered more than 12 ways to watch last night's championship game through the "CFP Megacast." ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, and ESPNEWS combined to average 18.9 metered market average, up 20% (15.7) from the 2014 BCS Megascast.