The first two College Football Playoff semifinals have been a hit with television ratings, according to ESPN's Josh Krulewitz. The Rose Bowl brought in 28.2 million viewers and the Sugar Bowl saw 28.3 million, reportedly becoming the two most-watched cable programs ever.
Last year's Florida State-Auburn national title game brought in 25.57 million viewers. The 2006 Rose Bowl, broadcast on network channel ABC, was the most highly watched championship game, with 35.6 million tuned in.
No. 2 Oregon ran through No. 3 Florida State in the first game, the Rose Bowl. The Ducks beat the Seminoles 59-20 in Pasadena, ending Florida State's undefeated season and their chance at back-to-back national titles. In the second playoff game of the evening, No. 4 Ohio State came back to defeat No. 1 Alabama 42-35, upsetting the top seed in New Orleans.
With the semifinal games bringing in championship-level TV numbers, it looks like the big conferences will be able to at least triple their usual television viewership and advertising opportunities this championship season. You'd think they would have been able to figure this out sooner!