The much-hyped Top 5 match up between the Oklahoma Sooners and Ohio State Buckeyes live up to expectations, at least when it comes to eyeballs.
ESPN’s PR Department released a statement saying:
ABC’s Saturday Night Football between Oklahoma and Ohio State (8 p.m. ET) earned the week’s highest overnight with a 5.3, while also adding a streaming audience of 170,000 in the average minute. On a night with a number of prime time options, ABC’s audience outpaced NBC by 77% and FOX by 194%.
So nearly three times as many people were tuned into Oklahoma-Ohio State as were tuned into USC vs. Stanford. Also, nearly twice as many people watched the game instead of watching Notre Dame vs. Georgia.
But more impressively, ESPN added:
- The overnight for the Sooners victory is ABC’s highest for a non-opening week September game since 2011 and the streaming average audience is the best ever in the same category.
This is a huge victory, not just for the Sooners, but for the entire Big 12 conference. Now that millions of people watched that game, more than watched any of the other primetime games on Saturday, it gives the conference something to hang its hat on moving forward. Fans and media members saw what Baker Mayfield was able to accomplish with plenty of skill-position teammates that are far from household names. In some cases because they are fullbacks (Dimitri Flowers), in other cases because they are true freshmen (Trey Sermon).
This now gives the Big 12 immediate respect, something it desperately needs. The bench mark in the Big 12, for now, is the Oklahoma Sooners, until proven otherwise. But thankfully, much of the nation was watching on Saturday night to get a glimpse at the talent in the Big 12.
Another interesting tidbit, Columbus beat out Oklahoma City for the highest-rated market to watch the game.