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NCAA college football TV ratings and viewership 2018

Traditional in-conference rivalry games such as Michigan vs. Ohio State and Alabama vs. LSU were among the most watched college football games of the 2018/19 season, garnering millions of viewers and generating more attention than most bowl games. Given the popularity of college football in the U.S., it is no surprise that the league’s playoff and championship games are among the most watched sporting events in the country year after year.

What is the significance of TV ratings?

TV ratings are a type of audience measurement system which determine the percentage of TV-households that tune in for a certain program. The shows or events that capture the highest share of available viewers earn the highest ratings numbers, and high ratings attract advertisement and sponsorship money, as companies battle to get air-time in front of large national audiences.

College football as an industry

Although technically not a professional sport, hundreds of millions of dollars are on the line each year in the world of college football. Tens of millions of fans attend games each year, crowding inside some of the largest stadiums in the entire world to watch their favorite teams battle for wins. Unpaid student-athletes generate massive revenues for their school, with many college football programs generating revenue numbers that would draw the envy of large companies.

NCAA college football television ratings and viewership figures in the United States in the 2018/2019 season

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Release date

January 2019


United States

Survey time period

August 25, 2018 to January 7, 2019

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Statistics on "NCAA college sports"

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