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UCF win over Auburn in Peach Bowl smashes ESPN ratings records

Florida Football Insiders

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Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

It was an historic Monday on the field for UCF in their 34-27 Peach Bowl win over Auburn to complete a 13-0 season. And, ESPN says it was historic for their coverage of the game, too.

The Cable giant announced Thursday afternoon that their ratings for the entire day, including the College Playoff Semi-Finals shot up from recent years. Specifically, more than 24 million people were watching on average in any half hour of the those games. That was 27% increase over the Peach and Fiesta Bowls shown on New Year’s Eve (a Saturday) as the semis last year.

Back to the Knights win. Here is the impressive breakdown of the audience.

The Peach Bowl was watched by a total of 8.4 million people (an all time record) for the lunch time, eastern time, start. That amount is of audience is up 49% over the 2015 Peach Bowl played in the afternoon on New Year’s Day between Houston and Florida State. And, it was up a staggering 67% in audience from TCU’s Peach Bowl demolition of Ole Miss on New Year’s Eve 2014.

Even more impressive is that unlike that the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl which “stood alone” with no other bowl game competition, UCF battling their SEC foe was going head to head with tough competition. The Outback Bowl between Michigan and South Carolina (5 million viewers on ESPN2) and the Citrus Bowl between LSU and Notre Dame (8.7 million on ABC) obviously, took eyeballs from the Knights pulling the upset.

Finally, ESPN announced that their televising of the “New Year’s Six” Bowl games, the Orange Bowl (Miami vs. Wisconsin), the Fiesta Bowl (Washington vs. Penn State) and the Cotton Bowl (Ohio State vs. USC) combined with the three games on Monday was viewed on average by 15 million people.

That’s up 9% total from a year ago and  is a new viewership record for the six games since, ESPN, the bowls and the College Football Playoff came up with the current schedule and alignment.

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