When it comes to college football, there’s not a conference in the country that has more passionate fan bases than the SEC.
From attendance numbers at stadiums to TV ratings, SEC games are lucrative business for markets across the south.
According to Richard Deitsch, seven of the biggest local markets for ESPN’s college football games were located in areas with SEC teams nearby. In fact, for an incredible 16th-straight year, Birmingham topped the list of local markets:
ESPN says for the 16th consecutive year, Birmingham was the No. 1 local market for CFB games that aired on ESPN.
No. 2: Columbus
No. 3: Greenville
No. 4/5: Oklahoma City & Knoxville
No. 6/7/8: Tulsa, Nashville, Atlanta
No. 9: Jacksonville
No. 10: Dayton/NOLA
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) December 5, 2017
Greenville, Knoxville, Nashville, Atlanta, Jacksonville and New Orleans are also in areas that have SEC squads nearby, so it’s no surprise ESPN got good ratings from those areas.
Columbus, where Ohio State is located, is No. 2 on the list, and Dayton, also in Ohio, is also on the top-10 list, so it’s clear the Buckeyes’ fans also love their team.
However, college football ratings are dominated by the SEC, and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon.