NEW ORLEANS (WAFB) - ESPN, the cable TV network that aired the College Football Playoff National Championship game, has released the TV viewing data from its telecast of LSU’s dominant victory over Clemson.
No. 1 LSU defeated No. 3 Clemson 42-25 in primetime at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Jan. 13.
It was the most-watched cable program since Alabama defeated Georgia in the CFP National Championship in Atlanta on Jan. 8, 2018.
According to ESPN, its MegaCast of the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship averaged 25.5 million viewers. The “MegaCast” refers to the multiple productions of the game offered on the ESPN family of cable and streaming channels.
Viewership of the game peaked at 29.2 million viewers when LSU took its first lead of the game time late in the second quarter. LSU would never trail again in the game.
The main telecast of LSU vs. Clemson averaged a little over 25 million viewers, up 3% from the previous year’s national championship.
The viewership data released by ESPN was collected by the Nielsen company. It only accounts for viewers of its ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, and ESPNEWS channels. ESPN Classic, Goal Line, ACC Network and SEC Network, as well as, streaming feeds from the ESPN app were not accounted for in the data.
LSU’s victory in the 2020 CFP National Championship had 308,000, or 1% more viewers than the 2019 national championship game, in which Clemson defeated Alabama in Santa Clara, Calif.
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However, LSU’s national championship victory did not top the 2018 CFP National Championship telecast which featured two SEC rivals: Alabama and Georgia.
Even without streaming viewership data, LSU’s 2020 National Championship victory is one of cable TV’s most-watched programs of all time, according to ESPN.
The network claims the LSU-Clemson matchup is on pace to surpass the viewership for all three CFP National Championships that featured Clemson vs. Alabama.
Analysts will know when streaming audience and out of home viewing audience data is released in the coming weeks.
New Orleans was the highest-rated local market during the game, earning a 48.9 rating. Birmingham, Ala., was second best and Greenville, S.C., the closest media market to Clemson University.
Cincinnati had a 26% increase in the market’s rating from the 2019 CFP National Championship game. The Cincinnati Bengals hold the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, and are expected to draft LSU quarterback Joe Burrow with that pick.