Ohio State–Michigan Scores Massive 10.4 Overnight Rating, the Most-Watched College Football Game This Season

By Tim Shoemaker on November 27, 2016 at 10:45 am
Michigan, Ohio State helmets on the College GameDay set.

Ohio State and Michigan played a classic game Saturday in the 113th version of this storied college football rivalry.

Turns out, a lot of people watched it.

There was a record-setting crowd of 110,045 in attendance and according to ESPN PR, the Buckeyes' 30-27 double-overtime victory over the Wolverines scored a massive 10.4 overnight rating. That is the highest-rated regular game of the 2016 season and, according to ESPN's Josh Krulewitz, is the second-best regular season rating on record for ABC, trailing only the 2006 Ohio State–Michigan game. That contest earned an 11.5 overnight rating.

The overnight viewership was up 53 percent from last year's Ohio State–Michigan game, according to ESPN. The peak audience rated a 12.7 — between 3:30 and 4 p.m. — as the Buckeyes and Wolverines went into overtime.

Columbus had the highest-rated local market as The Game scored a 43.6 rating in the host city. It scored a 36.8 in Dayton, 30.8 in Detroit, 30.1 in Cleveland and a 20.5 in Cincinnati.

Prior to Saturday, the most-watched college football game of the regular season was Notre Dame–Texas way back on opening weekend. That game scored a 7.0 overnight rating. 

ESPN's top-10 games of the regular season in terms of ratings can be seen below:

Top College Football Broadcasts, 2016 Season
Rank Overnight Game Date Network Time (ET)
1 10.4 Michigan at Ohio State Sunday, Nov. 26 ABC Noon
2 7.0 Notre Dame at Texas Sunday, Sept. 4 ABC 7:30 p.m.
3 6.0 Louisville at Clemson Saturday, Oct. 1 ABC 8 p.m.
  6.0 Alabama at LSU Saturday, Nov. 5 CBS 8 p.m.
5 5.6 Ohio State at Wisconsin Saturday, Oct. 15 ABC 8 p.m.
6 5.4 Alabama at Ole Miss Saturday, Sept. 17 CBS 3:30 p.m.
  5.4 Texas A&M at Alabama Saturday, Oct. 22 CBS 3:30 p.m.
8 5.3 Ole Miss vs. Florida State Monday, Sept. 5 ESPN 8 p.m.
9 4.9 USC vs. Alabama Saturday, Sept. 3 ABC 8 p.m.
  4.9 LSU vs. Wisconsin Saturday, Sept. 3 ABC 3:30 p.m.
View 55 Comments