DALLAS - The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) showcased today several impressive facts from the 2010 college football season, including top-notch TV ratings and record-setting bowl and regular season attendance figures.
For the fourth time in five years, college football set a record for the number of people attending games at the 639 NCAA schools with 49,670,895 fans turning out to watch an NCAA football game this past season. The total figure represents an increase of 1,386,222 (or nearly 3%) from last year and an increase of 26% or more than 12.8 million fans since 1997.
||UA coach Bobby Petrino
The 35 bowl games this season attracted 1,813,215 spectators to the stands, eclipsing the 1.8 million mark for the first time in history. The previous bowl game record stood 1,773,882, which was set during the 2008-09 bowl season. This year's new mark represents a 0.8% increase for the games played in the same venues as the previous year, and the two new bowl games, the New Era Pinstripe and the TicketyCity, each launched with a crowd in the top 15 for bowls making their debuts. College football bowl games across all networks remained robust, attracting 134 million viewers (71 million households) to television screens to watch the 35 games and complimenting the more than 200 million fans who tuned into the regular season.
"College football continues to be one of the nation's top spectator sports," NFF Board Member and SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said. "For the fourth time in five years, we have seen a record number of fans passing through the turnstiles, and this, with more games on television than ever before. College football weekends provide a lifetime of memories for student-athletes, coaches and fans. The National Football Foundation brings all of this together in its promotion of college football."
The game has benefited enormously from the commitment of every major media sports outlet, including the Big Ten Network, CBS Sports, CBS College Sports Network, ESPN, ESPN on ABC, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN Classic, ESPN3.com, Fox Sports, Fox Sports Net, the Mtn.-Mountain West Sports Network, NBC Sports, and Versus. Throughout the regular and bowl seasons these outlets continue to capitalize on college football's ever increasing popularity to produce an increasingly dynamic product that engages fans on new levels.
"The SEC on CBS has become the premier package in college football. With just one national game a week, THE SEC ON CBS has been the highest-rated college football package for two years running," said Mike Aresco, executive vice president for programming at CBS Sports. "The SEC is enjoying an incredible run with five straight BCS Championships won by four different teams."
In the first year of a four-year deal to televise the five BCS games on cable, ESPN made history three times, pulling the largest cable audiences ever for a show, a 24-hour period and a seven-day week.
"We had a record-breaking year for college football viewership and an unforgettable start to our BCS championship coverage. Whether on our TV networks or our digital and mobile platforms, fans show us in every possible way that they can't get enough college football," said Burke Magnus, ESPN senior vice president, college sports programming.
Ranked among the most popular sports in the United States along with the National Football League and Major League Baseball, NCAA Football counts 103 million adults as fans* or 44 percent of all US adults. Among adult college football fans, 61 percent are male and 39 percent female. Twelve percent are between the ages 18-24, 18 percent are 25-34, 19 percent are 35-44, 20 percent are 45-54, 16 percent are 55-64 and 16 percent are age 65 or over. Sixty-one percent have an annual household income of $50,000 or more, with 42 percent at $75,000 or more, and 25 percent at $100,000 or more. Thirty-two percent are college graduates and 61 percent are married, according to Scarborough Sports Marketing.
An estimated $1.6 billion was netted from travel and tourism during the 35 bowl games. Coaches and student-athletes took time out from their practice schedules to participate in a many community service such as children and veteran hospital visits, youth football clinics, Boys & Girls Clubs activities, food distribution center visits, trips to civil rights memorials, serving meals to the disadvantaged, and visiting military bases, hospitals and memorials.
Regular Attendance Highlights
* Total football attendance at the 639 NCAA schools was 49,670,895 in 2010, an increase of 1,386,222 or nearly 3% above last year's figure. The numbers represent an increase of 26% or more than 12.8 million since 1997.
* Schools from the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision drew a record of 37,678,722 fans in 2010, or an increase of 237,662 from the previous year while the Football Championship Subdivision attracted 6,031,800 fans, the third-most ever, or an increase of 475,865 from last year.
*Attendance at Divisions II and III games increased by 148,934 to 2,987,493 and 189,059 to 2,379,873, respectively. The 12 reclassifying teams saw a jump of 334,702 fans to 593,007.
* Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Alabama and Texas all attracted more than 100,000 fans to each of their regular home games.
* Michigan set the all-time crowd high-water mark with an average of 111,825 fans per home game, breaking their own record of 111,175 set in 1999 while claiming their 13th straight attendance title.
* Thirteen Football Bowl Subdivision teams played in front of more than one million fans each during the course of the season: Michigan, Penn State, Ohio State, Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Florida, LSU, Texas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Georgia.
* The SEC drew the most fans of any conference in the nation for the 13th straight year, attracting 6,521,151 fans or an average of 76,719 per game.
* Four Football Bowl Subdivision teams saw increases of more than 10,000 fans per game from last year, including Louisville with an 18,198-person increase per game, Northwestern (12,259), Rice (12,019) and Eastern Michigan (10,869).
* Appalachian State led the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision in home attendance for the third time in four years with 205,719 fans or an average of 25,715 per game. Texas A&M-Kingsville topped Division II attendance with 71,933 or an average of 11,989 fans per game, and St. John's (Minn.) set the high-water mark for Division III at 43,254 or an average of 8,651 fans per home game with its 10th straight attendance title.
Regular Season Ratings Highlights
* Approximately 200 million people tuned in to watch the 2010 college football regular season on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC, which included nearly 200 games.
* The SEC ON CBS produced the highest-rated regular season college football package for any network in 2010, scoring an average rating/share of 4.2/10 and landing the package on top for the second consecutive season.
* CBS' coverage of the September 25 Alabama - Arkansas game produced a national rating/share of 5.2/12, the network's best showing for a regular season afternoon game since 2003.
* ESPN's Labor Day prime-time telecast of the Boise State - Virginia Tech game attracted 9,888,000 viewers, ranking it as the second most-viewed regular college football game among total viewers and only trailing the Southern California - Ohio State game in 2009, which averaged 10,586,000 viewers.
* CBS' coverage of the November 26 "Iron Bowl" between Auburn and Alabama earned a national household rating/share of 7.3/17, ranking it as the highest-rated college football game of the 2010 season on any network and the highest-rated Friday college football game on CBS since college football returned to the network in 1996.
* The Big Ten Network's afternoon telecasts ranked first among cable households in its eight metered markets for the second year in a row. The network also produced its top two ratings ever. The noon ET time slot on Sept. 18, which included the Ohio State vs. Ohio and Michigan vs. UMass games, averaged a 5.64 rating while the conference battle between Ohio State and Illinois earned a 5.49 rating on Oct. 2.
* NBC Sports' broadcast of the Michigan-Notre Dame game, drawing 7 million viewers and a 4.5/10 rating and share, was the most-watched game featuring those two teams on NBC in 16 years and the most-watched Notre Dame on NBC game vs. any team in five years.
* VERSUS notched its most watched season of college football ever for its coverage of Mountain West and Pac-10 games. Viewership increased by 23%, including a 42% increase in men ages 25-54, compared to the overall 13-game schedule last year.
* VERSUS drew an all-time record for a college football game with the November 13 game between Oregon and California averaging 1.9 million and a peak of 3 million viewers.
* VERSUS set a new high water mark on the network in 2010 for coverage of a Mountain West game with its season opener, featuring Pittsburgh and Utah on September 2, averaging 877,000 viewers.
* ESPN3.com, the signature broadband network for ESPN, carried 392 regular-season games, the most ever, delivering more than 6.2 million unique viewers and generating more than 9.6 million total hours consumed, a 42% increase from last season.
Bowl Season Attendance Highlights
* The postseason featured 35 bowl games that totaled 1,813,215 spectators (or 43,328 more than last year) for an average of 51,806 fans per contest. The number represents almost a 1 % increase from last year, setting an all-time high for bowl attendance.
* The Fiesta Bowl as the host three bowl games (the Insight Bowl, the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and the Tostitos BCS National Championship) attracted a combined 199,288 spectators to the Phoenix region within a 14-day period.
* The Tostitos BCS National Championship Game drew 78,603 to University of Phoenix Stadium, the biggest crowd in the history of the building, which has also hosted a Super Bowl.
* The Rose Bowl continued the longest sellout streak in college football, which dates back to 1947, selling 94,118 tickets for the TCU and Wisconsin match-up.
* The AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, which pitted LSU against Texas A&M, drew 83,514 fans, ranking second all-time for attendance in the game's 75-year history.
* The Chick-fil-A Bowl produced its 14th consecutive sellout with 72,217 in attendance.
* The Allstate Sugar Bowl saw its attendance increase by 13% to 73,879, marking the 61st time that the classic surpassed the 70,000 figure.
* The inaugural New Era Pinstripe Bowl made a huge impact in the New York City market at Yankee Stadium with both Syracuse and Kansas State selling out their ticket allotments.
* The Hyundai Sun Bowl set an attendance record with 54,021 on hand to watch Notre Dame battle Miami (Fla.). The new record marked the second consecutive year that game increased its high water mark for its attendance figure.
* Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl between North Carolina and Tennessee sold out in 48 hours. The game produced $20.1 million in economic impact in Nashville while recording the first overtime in the 13-year history of the bowl.
* The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl set an attendance record at SMU's Gerald J. Ford Stadium as Army appeared in its first bowl game in 14 years and notched its first bowl win in 25 years.
* The 2010 MAACO Bowl Las Vegas sold out for the sixth consecutive year with attendance at 41,923 for the Boise State and Utah game, marking the second-biggest crowd in the 19-year history of the contest and the third-largest crowd to ever see a football game in the state of Nevada.
* The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl had a sellout for the fourth time in five years, attracting 41,063 for the Boston College and Nevada matchup. The bowl will celebrate its 10th anniversary at the conclusion of the coming season.
* The Insight Bowl drew a record 53,453 to Sun Devil Stadium for the Missouri - Iowa game.
* The Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl attracted 43,673 fans, the second largest crowd in its history.
* Baylor sold its original allotment of 12,000 Texas Bowl tickets in three days and then requested more for its match up against Illinois. The final attendance figure of 68,211 ranks second in Texas Bowl history.
Bowl Season Ratings Highlights
ESPN's coverage of the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game:
* Attracted the largest audience in cable TV history with 27.3 million viewers, blowing away the previous mark of 21.8 million notched by the 2009 Monday Night Football game between Green Bay and Minnesota.
* Attracted 619,000 unique online viewers to ESPN3.com, becoming the highest viewed college football game ever on the broadband service and more than doubling the previous mark. The game now ranks as the fourth most-watched online event of any kind on the ESPN digital platform behind three FIFA World Cup broadcasts. A total of 42 million minutes of broadband time was consumed for an average of 173,000 people per minute during the game.
* Attracted to ESPN.com, the day of the game, 15 million visits, 37.2 million page views and 77.1 million total minutes to pages, increases of 26%, 33% and 52%, respectively when compared to the day of last year's championship game.
* Attracted 7.1 million visits (up 60%), 14.5 million page views (up 47%) and 25.9 million total minutes (up 59%) to the ESPN Mobile Web platform.
* Attracted a 67.0 rating in Birmingham, Ala., and a 37.5 rating in Portland, Ore., the home markets of the competing teams, and a 28.8 rating in Nashville, Tenn., a 28.6 rating in New Orleans, La., and a 27.7 rating in Knoxville, Tenn.
Other bowl season rating highlights:
* Ten bowl games produced ratings jumps of more than 20%: Insight Bowl (with a 460% jump); Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl (152%); Outback Bowl (101%); R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl (101%); MAACO Bowl Las Vegas (47%); BBVA Compass Bowl (39%); AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic (28%); Texas Bowl (25%); Sheraton Hawaii Bowl (24%); and the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg (21%).
* Bowl games attracted more than 134 million television viewers (71 million households) to television screens to watch the 35 games played at the conclusion of the 2010 season.
* ESPN's coverage of the BCS games led the network to its highest-rated week ever between December 27 and January 2, averaging 2,953,000 viewers (a 2.2 HH coverage rating) or a 30% increase from the previous mark set during the period in 2010.
* Highlighted by the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Vizio, the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and the Capital One Bowl, ESPN notched its highest-rated day ever within a 24-hour period on New Year's Day, averaging 6,301,000 viewers throughout the day and posting a 281% increase from January 1, 2010 and shattering the previous single-day record (set Sept. 14, 2009 during a Monday Night Football doubleheader) by more than 41%. The day saw 63,535,000 unduplicated viewers tune in to the network at some point.
* The Rose Bowl Game Presented by Vizio, which matched TCU against Wisconsin, delivered a 13.1 HH coverage rating or 20,558,000
viewers, drawing the largest audience in cable television history (excluding NFL games and the yet-to-be-played Tostitos BCS National Championship Game).
* The Allstate Sugar Bowl earned an 9.5 HH coverage rating or 13,635,000 million viewers, the third-highest rating for college football in ESPN history and only behind this year's Rose Bowl and championship game.
* The Discover Orange Bowl, featuring Stanford and Virginia Tech, earned a 7.8 HH coverage rating with 10,682,000 viewers, the fourth highest for college football in ESPN history.
* The AT&T Cotton Bowl game, which pitted LSU against Texas A&M, produced a 6.7 HH coverage rating with more than 10 million viewers, a 29% increase from last year's game. It was the most watched Friday night program on Fox in more than a year, since the 2010 Sugar Bowl.
* The Chick-fil-A Bowl notched a 5.0 HH coverage rating with 7,492,000 viewers for its match up between South Carolina and Florida State.
* The Hyundai Sun Bowl on CBS, featuring Notre Dame and Miami (Fla.), drew a 3.5 HH coverage rating, the second best rating for the game in the last six years.
* The 2010 MAACO Bowl Las Vegas produced the highest rating for an ESPN Regional Television owned bowl game in history, notching an average rating of 3.8 HH coverage rating on ESPN for the Boise State and Utah contest.
* The Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl scored a 4.9 HH coverage rating, a new record for the game, with 7,107,000 viewers, also a new high water mark.
* The Insight Bowl notched a 2.6 HH coverage rating on ESPN or an increase of 460% over the previous year on the NFL Network.
* The BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham, Ala., produced its highest rating in the game's five-year history with a 2.6 HH coverage rating, up 40% from last year.
* The Outback Bowl, which moved from ESPN to ABC, saw its ratings more than double from a 3.5 to a 7.1 rating. The Florida- Penn State match up marked the final game for Urban Meyer as the head coach of the Gators. The game was the highest rated college football game on ABC this year and the highest rated non-BCS bowl in three years.
* The Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg drew a 2.3 HH coverage rating, a 21% increase from last year, with 2,997,000 viewers, and Beef 'O' Brady's has agreed to a three-year extension of its title sponsorship.
* The Mountain West averaged an impressive 4.0 rating for its five bowl games.
* SEC teams played in seven of the 10 highest-rated bowls games and the Big Ten teams appeared in four of the top 10.
* ESPN's telecast of the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game produced significant increases in the coveted demographic for males 18- to 34-year-olds when compared to last year's numbers.
2010-11 Notable Bowl Facts and Milestones
* The SEC claimed a record fifth-straight BCS title.
* The Tostitos BCS National Championship Game made history as the closest BCS title game ever and the first decided on the final play as Auburn beat Oregon 22-19 on a field goal as time expired.
* The Mountain West Conference posted the best bowl record (4-1, .800) for conferences playing in more than two games, equaling the same mark they tallied last year.
* The NFF and Fiesta Bowl celebrated the 6th Annual National Hall of Fame Salute at the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
* The final score of the inaugural New Era Pinstripe Bowl exactly matched the only other bowl game ever played in the Bronx [Nebraska 36, Miami (Fla.) 34 in the 1962 Gotham Bowl].
* The Allstate Sugar Bowl made an economic impact of $182.55 million this season, a jump of 26.3% from last year. During the past five years, the bowl has generated more than $1 billion in economic activity for the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana.
* The AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl celebrated its 35th anniversary with a crowd of nearly 40,000 for the match-up between Air Force and Georgia Tech.
* Penn State's Joe Paterno remains the all-time leader with 24 bowl victories. Among active coaches, Texas' Mack Brown (sixth overall) is the next on the list with 11 victories.
* The Cotton Bowl Classic celebrated its 75th Anniversary.
* The Outback Bowl celebrated its 25th Anniversary and has longest running title sponsor of any college bowl.
* Each of the 11 competing Football Bowl Subdivision conferences won at least two bowls for the first time in history.
* The Orange Bowl Committee cut the ribbon on a $5.7 million renovation of The Orange Bowl Field at Moore Park, which is utilized by the city for a variety of events, as legacy gift to the community. ACC Commissioner John Swofford and Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott attended the event. Moore Park was the site of the Palm Festival in 1933 and 1934, which is the forerunner of the Orange Bowl.
* The Chick-fil-A Bowl disbursed an all-time high payout of $6.7 million, bringing the Atlanta classic's 44-year cumulative payout to more than $100 million while the organization also set an annual record for charitable and scholarship contributions at $1.25 million in 2010.
* The Outback Bowl produced an estimated economic impact between $35 and $40 million for a total of more than $750 million during the history of the game. The game also notched a record payout of $6.8 million for an all-time payout history of more than $95 million.
* Through the 2010-11 bowl season, Alabama (58 bowl appearances), Tennessee (49),Texas (49), Southern California (48), and Nebraska (47) remain the top five all-time for bowl appearances with Georgia just behind with 46 postseason visits.
* A total of 45 different schools have participated in the 57 BCS games since the 1998 season.
* Florida and LSU remain as the only two-time winners of a BCS Championship. There have been no back-to-back champions.
* Oklahoma has played in more BCS title games (four) than any other team, followed by Florida State and Ohio State (three each). 2010 BCS participants Auburn and Oregon have become the 13th and 14th different schools to meet in the title game since the 1998 season.
* National leaders in current consecutive bowl games are Florida State 29, Florida 20, Virginia Tech 18, Georgia 14, Georgia Tech 14, Boston College 12, and Oklahoma 12. Nebraska still holds the all-time record with 35 straight trips from 1969-2003.
* A total of 45 different schools have participated in the first 57 BCS games since its inception in 1998.
* This year's BCS title game marked the first since the 2001 Nebraska - Miami (Fla.) game that two first-timers appeared in the BCS National Championship Game.
2010-11 Chronological Bowl Games and Network:
Bowl Result. (Attendance) & [Household Impressions] & (HH coverage rating) & [Viewers (P2+)]
* New Mexico Bowl, ESPN: BYU 52, UTEP 24. (32,424) & [2,111,000] & (2.1) & [2,789,000]
* uDrove Humanitarian, ESPN: Northern Illinois 40, Fresno State 17. (25,449) & [2,127,000] & (2.1) & [2,896,000]
* R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, ESPN: Troy 48, Ohio 21. (29,159) & [1,524,000] & (1.5) & [2,096,000]
* Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg, ESPN: Louisville 31, Southern Miss 28. (20,017) & [2,283,000] & (2.3) & [2,997,000]
* MAACO Bowl Las Vegas, ESPN: Boise State 26, Utah 3. (41,923) & [3,774,000] & (3.8) & [5,360,000]
* San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, ESPN: San Diego State 35, Navy 14. (48,049) & [2,619,000] & (2.6) & [3,568,000]
* Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, ESPN: Tulsa 62, Hawaii 35. (43,673) & [2,450,000] & (2.5) & [3,707,000]
* Little Caesar's Pizza, ESPN: Florida International 34, Toledo 32. (32,431) & [1,629,000] & (1.6) & [2,174,000]
* Advocare V100 Independence Bowl, ESPN2: Air Force 14, Georgia Tech 7. (39,362) & [1,672,000] & (1.7) & [2,234,000]
* Champs Sports Bowl, ESPN: NC State 23, West Virginia 7. (48,962) & [2,462,000] & (2.5) & [3,256,000]
* Insight Bowl, ESPN: Iowa 27, Missouri 24. (53,453) & [2,593,000] & (2.6) & [3,558,000]
* Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman, ESPN: Maryland 51, East Carolina 20. (38,062) & [1,715,000] & (1.7) & [2,133,005]
* Texas Bowl, ESPN: Illinois 38, Baylor 14. (68,211) & [3,073,000] & (3.1) & [4,184,000]
* Valero Alamo Bowl, ESPN: Oklahoma State 36, Arizona 10. (57,593) & [3,286,000] & (3.3) & [4,643,000]
* Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, ESPN: Army 16, SMU 14. (36,742) & [1,547,000] & (1.5) & [1,898,000]
* New Era Pinstripe Bowl, ESPN: Syracuse 36, Kansas State 34: (38,274) & [2,620,000] & (2.6) & [3,460,000]
* Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, ESPN: North Carolina 30, Tennessee 27. (69,143) & [4,912,000] & (4.9) & [7,107,000]
* Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl, ESPN: Washington 19, Nebraska 7. (57,921) & [4,031,000] & (4.0) & [5,653,000]
* Meineke Car Care Bowl, ESPN: USF 31, Clemson 26. (41,122) & [2,299,000] & (2.3) & [2,899,000]
* Hyundai Sun Bowl, CBS: Notre Dame 33, Miami 17. (54,021) & [3,483,000] & (3.0) & [4,609,000]
* AutoZone Liberty Bowl, ESPN: UCF 10, Georgia 6. (51,231) & [3,433,000] & (3.4) & [4,755,000]
* Chick-fil-a Bowl, ESPN: Florida State 26, South Carolina 17. (72,217) & [5,009,000] & (5.0) & [7,492,000]
* TicketCity Bowl, ESPNU: Texas Tech 45, Northwestern 38. (40,121) & [N/A] & (N/A) & [N/A]
* Outback Bowl, ABC: Florida 37, Penn State 24. (60,574) & [8,173,000] & (7.1) & [12,445,000]
* Capital One Bowl, ESPN: Alabama 49, Michigan State 7. (61,519) & [4,272,000] & (4.3) & [6,045,000]
* Progressive Gator Bowl, ESPN2: Mississippi State 52, Michigan 14. (68,325) & [1,983,000] & (2.0) & [2,827,000]
* Rose Bowl presented by VIZIO, ESPN: TCU 21, Wisconsin 19. (94,118) & [13,054,000] & (13.1) & [20,558,000]
* Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, ESPN: Oklahoma 48, Connecticut 20. (67,232) & [7,129,000] & (7.1) & [10,819,000]
* Discover Orange Bowl, ESPN: Stanford 40, Virginia Tech 12. (65,453) & [7,819,000] & (7.8) & [10,682,000]
* Allstate Sugar Bowl, ESPN: Ohio State 31, Arkansas 26. (73,879) & [9,506,000] & (9.5) & [13,635,000]
* GoDaddy.com Bowl, ESPN: Miami (Ohio) 35, Middle Tennessee 21. (38,168) & [2,028,000] & (2.0) & [2,617,000]
* AT&T Cotton Bowl, Fox: LSU 41, Texas A&M 24. (83,514) & [6,729,000] & (5.8) & [10,014,000]
* BBVA Compass Bowl, ESPN: Pittsburgh 27, Kentucky 10. (41,207) & [2,555,000] & (2.6) & [3,296,000]
* Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, ESPN: Nevada 20, Boston College 13. (41,063) & [1,870,000] & (1.9) & [2,499,000]
* Tostitos BCS National Championship, ESPN: Auburn 22, Oregon 19. (78,603) & [17,718,000] & (17.8) & [27,316,000]
Feel free to take part in the discussion! Please be nice and do not include any abusive comments or spam. All comments are moderated and Hootens.com reserves the right to delete any comment.