Big Ten game huge for ABC

Ohio State-Michigan rivalry attracts auds

The much-anticipated college football showdown between bitter rivals Ohio State and Michigan delivered huge ratings for ABC on Saturday.

Prelim in-home viewing estimates from Nielsen project an average of 21.8 million viewers watched the late-afternoon contest, which the Buckeyes won, 42-39.

Matchup of the two top-rated teams in the country was the most-watched regular-season college football game since Florida State-Notre Dame in November 1993.

Huge aud for the game, which ended around 7 p.m. ET, also helped ABC in primetime. Net’s coverage of the USC-California contest — a battle for the Pacific-10 Conference title — dominated the evening’s ratings race.

Estimates are subject to revision, but USC’s 23-9 victory should come in with at least a 3.2 rating in adults 18-49 and 10 million viewers overall.

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