Fiesta Bowl is big party for Fox

Game gives net best Monday numbers in 7 months

A thrilling Fiesta Bowl led Fox to a primetime victory on New Year's Day.

The college football game between Oklahoma and Boise State — which Boise State won 43-42 in overtime to cap an undefeated season — averaged 13.7 million viewers and a 4.9 rating/12 share in adults 18-49 during primetime, according to preliminary estimates released Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research. The game peaked from 9:30-10 p.m. EST, when 15.7 million people tuned in, and it scored a 5.5/13 in the demo. Boise State used a series of trick plays to rally in the final moments then pull off the upset in overtime.

It was Fox's highest ratings on a Monday night in seven months in adults 18-49 and total viewership, and the numbers were about the same as last year's Sugar Bowl (4.8/13) on ABC on New Year's Day. This year's game was up slightly compared with last year's 13.6 million, but the numbers might go up when final ratings are released today. The Fiesta Bowl aired from 8:53 p.m.-12:51 a.m. EST.

Earlier, ABC got a big boost from the Rose Bowl, which started at 4:30 p.m. EST and ran through 9 p.m. EST. ABC's coverage of the game, won 32-18 by USC over Michigan, delivered 19 million viewers and a 6.6/15 between 8-8:30 p.m. before the network shifted to all repeats.

CBS and NBC also aired all repeats.

Nightly averages: Fox (12.2 million, 4.2/10); CBS (10.1 million, 3.3/8); ABC (9.2 million, 3.4/8); NBC (5.1 million, 1.9/5); and the CW (2.4 million, 0.9/2).