top of page

Subscribe to get exclusive updates

Thanks for subscribing!

  • Writer's pictureMEI

FOOTBALL’S MASSIVE FOOTPRINT IN THE FALL


November 30, 2023 by Mitch Metcalf

As NCAA College Football heads into its weekend of Conference Championships, let’s take stock of how massive the audience is for football at all levels.


In an average week each fall, there are 348 million viewing hours across various NFL games, a little more

than one hour viewed per week for every single person in the U.S.



College Football (mostly on Saturday but also to some extent earlier in the week) adds up to 199 million viewing hours per week. With almost three times as many college games televised as NFL games, the average college game has an audience of under 1 million people. And the top game this season so far

(Michigan-Ohio State on FOX with over 19 million viewers) was less than half of the top NFL game so far this season (Dallas-Washington on CBS with almost 42 million viewers). But these are still really significant numbers.


Football, both professional and college, adds up to 547 million hours per week, accounting for almost two-thirds of sports viewing on television and one-eighth of all linear TV viewing (all metrics on the rise).



If the NCAA had the equivalent of a Premier League with the top 30 or 40 schools instead of a Division I that looks like the entire baseball farm system (AAA teams playing the AA or A teams most weeks), the top-tier college numbers would be eye-popping and filled with meaningful contests. Of course, such radical change is not in the cards. A big improvement will be an 8- or 10-game playoff format rather than the still-flawed 4-team lottery, which was a quantum leap from the 2-team BCS system. Change comes slowly, especially with the NCAA.

 

Keep coming back to this space for coverage of these exciting times in our business. If you find this post of interest, we encourage you to share the post on other social channels (share buttons below). If you want to be notified when there is a new post, please subscribe to join our mailing list.


Interested in deeper insights? If you or your company is interested in purchasing access to MEI’s exclusive analysis of Nielsen TV ratings and streaming data, please reach out by clicking below.



53 views
bottom of page