Citrus Bowl surpasses impressive viewership mark on ABC
ESPN has become the main source for just about any type of coverage, including a majority of bowl games, for college football fans during bowl season. But on the first day of this decade, plenty of viewers tuned into the Vrbo Citrus Bowl on ABC.
The bowl game between Alabama and Michigan on Jan. 1 became ABC’s most-watched bowl game since the 2010 National Championship, generating an audience of more than 14 million according to ESPN Press Room. That was also the fourth-highest audience for the Citrus Bowl since at least 1991.
The Crimson Tide defeated the Wolverines convincingly with a, 35-16, victory. Alabama has reached 11 wins in a season nine straight years.
It’s not at all surprising two historic programs meeting in a New Year’s Day bowl game would generate such a high audience. The last time that many viewers tuned into the Citrus Bowl, Michigan played Florida during the 2008 season.
College football fans have turned out in force throughout bowl season, especially the last few days. The Rose Bowl between Oregon and Wisconsin generated the second-highest viewership for a non-Semifinal New Year’s Six bowl game during the College Football era.
With Georgia taking on Baylor late on New Year’s Day, the Sugar Bowl also reached record viewership heights. The game produced the second-most viewers for a non-Semifinal Sugar Bowl during the College Football era, and that was despite the game not starting until about 9 pm ET.
On ESPN networks this bowl season, which includes ABC, ESPN is averaging more than 5 million viewers per bowl game.