Videos by OutKick
College football debuted with a tremendous bump in the weekend television ratings — ending its first slate of broadcasted games with a 19 percent overall increase in audience numbers compared to the 2019 start.
The lineup of games featured strong matchups and a number of surprising finishes, but what encouraged millions of Americans to tune into the college football action were the fans in the stands, having fun.
A return to college football meant a return to traditions, including VT’s rendition of “Enter Sandman” and jumping around at Camp Randall. OutKick’s Clay Travis followed the games all weekend and was awed by the millions of college fans embracing a true return to sports — without a single moment ruined by COVID fear porn and coronabro nonsense.
Clay spoke on the TV ratings during Wednesday’s OutKick the Show, crediting the fans for the massive bump over the weekend.
“Why were ratings up so much? I think college football fans were wildly excited to see other college football fans back in stadiums,” said Clay. “One of the most massive parts of college football’s overall appeal out there, maybe more than almost any sport, is the fans. The band … the shots in the crowd, the wild atmosphere, the excitement.”
Breaking a trend of declining television audiences for other leagues, college football’s return became a platform for a different crowd to tune in — one willing to embrace a return to normalcy in sports and fearlessly celebrate their team. The energy was genuinely electric and it showed in the ratings.
“Fans matter, in my opinion, more in college football than they do in any other sport. … And I think people were ecstatic to see normalcy as millions of fans returned to stadiums all over college football. I think there was a massive number of people out there watching who were absolutely loving everything that they saw.”