10:33am PT by Michael O'Connell
BCS Title Ratings Rise From Last Year But Viewers Lose Interest Early in Blowout
Monday night wasn't a pretty one for Notre Dame.
The underdogs in the BCS title game, held in Miami, lost 42-14 to the Alabama Crimson Tide. Massive interest in the game fueled boosted overnight returns for ESPN, but Alabama's decisive victory saw viewership drop as the game wore on.
The game pulled a 15.7 overnight rating, a 14 percent jump from last year's most-watched broadcast in all of cable, the title game between Alabama and LSU. The first half of last night's game pulled a 18.2 overnight rating but started to fall just 45 minutes into the broadcast. Peak numbers came in between 9:00 p.m. and 9:15 p.m.
As Alabama pulled away, ratings continued to fall. So while final numbers (available later Tuesday) will likely have NCAA football's last hurrah of the 2012 season besting the same game last year, they won't approach the numbers in 2011 when ESPN aired its first BCS title.
More viewership details to come...