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TV Ratings: Clemson-Alabama Championship Game Down Slightly From Last Year

UPDATED: An instant classic of a College Football Playoff National Championship Game just wasn’t enough to draw the same audience as the previous year. Monday’s Clemson-Alabama game brought in a total audience of 26.03 million viewers across all its channels and streaming, down slightly from 2016’s analogous audience of 26.71 million. On ESPN alone, the game brought in 24.4 million viewers.

In Nielsen’s early ratings, the game, which ended well after midnight on the East Coast, pulled in a 15.3 household rating, down a little from last year’s 15.8 household rating. However, that’s an improvement on the 15% drop from 2015’s game to 2016’s.

The Clemson-Alabama match-up was a repeat of last year, but with a different result this go-round: Clemson won with literally one second left to go, after erasing a two-score deficit in spectacular fashion. The final score was 35-31.

According to ESPN’s own internal data, the stream of the game had an average audience of 710,000, a record for the Disney-owned network and a 21% increase over last year’s game.

In the face of the title game over on ESPN, the second Monday of 2017 was a quieter night than usual on the broadcast side. With Fox and CBS in repeats, ABC once again took the crown in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic (though CBS’ repeats won in total viewers).

ABC’s “The Bachelor” averaged a 2.1 in the demo and 6.49 million viewers, more or less the same as last week’s premiere. Afterwards, the net premiered two episodes of new series “Big Fan.” The first installment drew a 1.0 and 3.57 million viewers; the second a 0.7 and 2.74 million viewers.

NBC ran with a double helping of “The New Celebrity Apprentice.” The first brought in a 1.1 and 4.16 million viewers. The second pulled in a 1.0 and 3.68 million viewers. Both were below last week’s 1.3 demo rating, which itself was down around a third from the finale of the previous season. NBC repeated an episode of “The Wall” at 10.

The CW was also in repeats.

As a reminder, many scripted series will see lifts of 50% or more once viewing within three and seven days is counted. However, most of those gains won’t translate to the ratings guarantees networks make advertisers.

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