The inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship saw its debut game boost ESPN to the largest audience in cable history, according to Nielsen. Monday’s telecast averaged 33,395,000 viewers with an 18.2 US household rating, setting new records for both the largest audience and highest rating in cable television history. That marks a 31% spike in viewership over the 2014 BCS National Championship with the primary home markets of the two schools recording a 51.2 in Columbus and a 37.6 in Portland. Meanwhile, the simulcast of ESPN’s main telecast of the game on WatchESPN attracted 1,161,000 unique viewers, 82,000,000 minutes viewed and average minute audience of 366,000, according to the company.
“The inaugural College Football Playoff was a resounding success by all measures,” said John Skipper, ESPN President. “Fans responded in record numbers across television and digital platforms. It’s been a great first year and we look forward to the opportunity to build upon the excitement as we continue our long-term commitment to this tremendous event.”