ABC scores with Rose Bowl telecast

Ohio State-Oregon match posts highest ratings in three years

In what may well be the final Rose Bowl to air on broadcast television, ABC's coverage of the Jan. 1 Ohio State-Oregon clash put up some sweet-smelling numbers.

The No. 8-ranked Buckeyes' 26-17 victory over the No. 7 Ducks drew a 13.8 overnight rating Friday, up 10% from a 12.6 for last year's USC-Penn State battle, and up 15% from a 12.0 for the USC-Illinois tilt in 2008.

Per Nielsen overnights, ABC's New Year's Day audience peaked at 8 p.m. as the game delivered a 16 rating/5.8 share and just shy of 20 million viewers. The overnight is the highest for a Rose Bowl since USC and Michigan drew a 14.5 in 2007.

The New Year's Day classic will be the last to air on ABC for the foreseeable future. Beginning next year, the Rose Bowl moves to ABC sibling ESPN, joining the Tostitos Fiesta, FedEx Orange and Allstate Sugar bowls as well as the Citi BCS National Championship game. ESPN's contract with the five majors runs through 2014.
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