ABC bowls over competish, games up 3% from 2001
Wednesday’s Sugar Bowl proved to be a sweet performer for ABC, while the battle in Pasadena also came up roses for the Alphabet.According to metered-market overnights for New Year’s Day, the primetime Georgia vs. Florida State Sugar Bowl on ABC (8:30-11:45 p.m. ET) averaged a 9.8 rating/15 share — up 18% vs. last year’s Illinois-LSU matchup in the game. Nielsen won’t issue nationals until today, but preliminary results show the Alphabet net dominating the evening. The Rose Bowl between Washington State and Oklahoma (4:45-8:15 p.m. ET) remained the day’s highest-rated game, with its 11.6/19 on par with the 2002 Fiesta Bowl, which aired in the same late afternoon slot (11.7/19). Overall, the day’s five bowl games — three on ABC, one apiece on NBC and Fox — averaged a 7.6 rating/13 share, up 3% from last year’s 7.4/13 but down 8% from 2001 (8.3/15). ABC, which airs the four bowl games that comprise the Bowl Championship Series, wraps the college football season tonight with the national championship game (Fiesta Bowl) between Miami and Ohio State. As for Wednesday’s other bowl action, NBC’s Gator Bowl between Notre Dame and North Carolina State (12:30-4:15 p.m. ET) netted a 6.1/11 in overnights, repping a 10% dropoff from last year’s 6.8/13 for Florida State-Virginia Tech, but up 30% from the 2001 matchup between Clemson and Virginia Tech. The Capital One Bowl on ABC between Penn State and Auburn (1-4:30 p.m. ET), the only game of the day to be decided in the final minutes, averaged a 6.3/12, up 7% from last year’s Citrus Bowl (Michigan-Tennessee). Fox’s Cotton Bowl between Texas and LSU (11:15 a.m.-3 p.m. ET) scored a 4.2/8, flat vs. the previous year’s Oklahoma-Arkansas matchup.