College Football season delivers an early present to ESPN

ESPN is touting its record viewership for the college football season, with its FBS telecasts snaring nearly 200 million viewers this year for 453 exclusive regular-season games. ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPNEWS combined to top 185,687,000 viewers for 272 telecasts, averaging 1,767,000 viewers, while the 517 FBS games on WatchESPN generated 1,200,000,000 live minutes viewed, for an 80% markup over 2013.

Saturday Night Football on ABC finished the season as the most-viewed and highest-rated weekly college football night game on television, according to the company, notching 5,106,000 viewers a game and a 3.2 rating for 7% YoY increases in each category. ESPN’s Saturday night games also generated spikes, averaging 4,397,000 viewers for a 24% rise. Top five markets in 2014: Birmingham with a 9.2 rating, followed by New Orleans, Knoxville, Greenville and Memphis/Atlanta (tie).

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