Early TV Ratings For National Title Game Blowout Are Unbelievably Bad

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The TV ratings for Georgia crushing TCU in the national title game are brutally low.

Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs slashed up and cut through the Horned Frogs in dominating fashion Monday night to win 65-7.

It was one of the most lopsided games of the season, and the fact it happened in the national title game was nothing short of humiliating for TCU.

In the early TV ratings, which will likely see a bump, the game averaged around 17.2 million viewers across ESPN channels. If the number remains that low, it will be the lowest college football national title game since back when the BCS era started, according to SBJ’s Austin Karp. The game is also easily the least watched championship matchup of the CFP era.

The numbers also appear to show viewers fled once the blowout was on in the second quarter. For comparison, the semifinals averaged 22.1 million viewers. Not only was the title game lower, but it was lower by a significant margin.

People didn’t stick around to watch Georgia crush TCU.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the national title game started bleeding viewers. It was 38-7 when the clock hit zero in the first half.

Once the Georgia Bulldogs went up 24-7 with 8:30 left in the second quarter, it felt like the game was likely out of reach for the Horned Frogs. Once Kirby Smart’s team went up 31-7 with a little more than a minute left in the first half, it was a wrap for TCU.

Georgia beat TCU 65-7 to win the national title. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

That’s when viewers decided it was time to watch something else and people tuned out. The fact the game didn’t even average 18 million viewers in the early data is simply brutal for ESPN and the CFP.

It goes to show that lopsided matchups simply don’t draw eyeballs when things go sideways.

Georgia/TCU national title game gets terrible TV ratings. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

If there’s a silver lining, at least a record low number of people watched TCU get massacred on live TV. Maybe that makes it a bit easier on the Horned Frogs.

Written by David Hookstead

David Hookstead is a reporter for OutKick covering a variety of topics with a focus on football and culture.

He also hosts of the podcast American Joyride that is accessible on Outkick where he interviews American heroes and outlines their unique stories. Before joining OutKick, Hookstead worked for the Daily Caller for seven years covering similar topics.

Hookstead is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.


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  1. So what is your solution ?….. turn College Football into WWE and orchestrate the results to hold viewers? … OR If one team is ahead by 3 TDs at the half, they have to play “a man short” in the 2nd half? …. If a golfer is ahead by 10 strokes at the turn at Augusta on Sunday, he can’t use his putter on the back nine ???

    TCU defeated the consensus #2 undefeated team in the semifinals. That established their credibility.. Yes, it wasa blow-out … 50% of Super Bowls have been non-competitive. Remember Bears – 46 vs Patriots10 in 1986 or are you too young to remember? Or 49ers -55 / Broncos – 10 in 1990 ???? … Its Sports – BLOWOUTS HAPPEN!

  2. The expanded playoffs are very welcome now. Although TCU deserved to be in the game based on all the metrics, in reality the presence of Alabama or USC would have made for a better game. Alabama had the defense to match Georgia. USC had no defense but they would have matched Georgia in offense. Very soon.

    • Within five years, everybody like you who is blindly for playoff expansion will complain and want something different. The same exact process happened with the BCS and is happening now with the 4 team playoff. Everyone was convinced the BCS would solve the traditional issues with college ball. Then in 2003 we had the AP vote for USC over LSU, who had actually played and won in the BCS title game. Then the next year an undefeated auburn was left out of the title game. Then when the playoff was implemented we were told the issues with college ball were, again solved, for real this time. Now everybody complains that Bama, Georgia and osu, Clemson make it every year and it’s not enough teams.

      And then the same year that neither Bama nor Clemson makes it, these same people celebrate the announced ridiculous expansion to 12 teams. Which would have put Clemson and Alabama into the playoff. And the whole time the fact that the final few weekends of the regular season and conference title games basically serve as de facto playoff games is ignored. Why? Because there’s too many people who think that this extremely asymmetrical institution of college football needs tod be run like the NFL is, which is full of professional athletes and intentionally structured for pairity.

  3. I watch probably 40-50 college football games a year, and I tuned in for 4 plays before I put on Bulls vs Celtics. It was a TERRIBLE game.

    That said, this isn’t a problem that needs a solution. It’s a one year blip after historically great semifinal games. Sometimes you’ll get a school with 12k students and a tiny alumni base in the N.C. game and if it’s a GREAT game you’ll draw casual viewers and if it’s a terrible game you’ll lose them.

    Next year we’ll get OSU vs LSU and it will do pretty good numbers, and the year after we’ll get Bama vs Manning (I mean Texas) and it will do HUGE numbers, and the year after that we’ll get Oregon vs Georgia and it will be meh. That’s how it goes in all sports for all games (except the Superbowl)…

  4. That`s the potential drawback with live sports. Every once a while you get a blowout and people tune out early. By then, the only ones left watching are people seeing if the game goes over / under the total or a prop play.

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