TV Ratings: College Football Playoff Championship Plummets

Alabama Crimson Tide Ohio State Buckeyes National Championship - Getty - H 2021
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The College Football Playoff championship game drew its smallest audience ever on Monday night.

Alabama's 52-24 rout of Ohio State in the title game averaged 18.65 million viewers across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU, a drop of 27 percent — and almost 7 million viewers — compared to last year's title game (25.46 million). It was Monday's most watched program by a huge margin among both total viewers and adults 18-49 (5.05 rating) but fell well short of every prior CFP championship game dating back to 2015.

The previous six title matchups averaged about 27.6 million viewers, and the low before Monday was 25.28 million for Clemson's blowout win over Alabama in 2019. Nearly all of the TV audience tuned into the main broadcast on ESPN, which drew 18.22 million viewers; ESPN2 and ESPNU combined for 435,000.

The title game, in fact, averaged fewer viewers than the 18.8 million for the two semifinal matchups on New Year's Day.

On the broadcast networks, The Bachelor led primetime with 4.74 million viewers and a 1.17 rating among adults 18-49 for ABC. The Good Doctor returned with 4.06 million viewers and 0.57 in the 18-49 demo, even with its last episode of the fall.

Outside of college football coverage, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show was the most watched cable show with 4.22 million viewers. The first hour of WWE Monday Night Raw on USA (0.62) and Cuomo Prime Time on CNN (0.58) led the non-football offerings in the 18-49 demographic.

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