Ratings were up for ESPN’s MegaCast presentation of the College Football Playoff semifinals.

The World Wide Leader saw a ratings increase in the early semifinal game of No. 1 LSU vs. No. 4 Oklahoma. The Tigers-Sooners matchup finished with a MegaCast audience of 17,214,000 viewers, up from last year’s similarly-schedule Clemson-Notre Dame CFP Semifinal (Dec. 29, 2018, 4 p.m.). The audience for the LSU victory peaked at 18.9 million viewers in the first half (5:15-5:30 p.m.), as the Tigers jumped out to a 28-7 lead with more than 12 minutes remaining in the second quarter. LSU would extend the lead to 35 points (49-14) going into halftime, setting a new record for largest halftime lead in the CFP’s young history.

The big winner for ESPN, however, was the 8 p.m. ET clash between No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Clemson. The PlayStation Fiesta Bowl drew 21.2 million viewers, resulting in the most-watched CFP Semifinal not played on New Year’s Day (eight games) and up 9% from last year’s similarly scheduled CFP game.

In addition to audience increases from last season, Saturday’s CFP Semifinals join last season’s CFP National Championship (Alabama vs. Clemson, January 7, 2019) as cable’s three most-watched telecasts of the calendar year 2019.

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