Ratings plunge for NYE College Football Playoff

DALLAS – Jimmy Kimmel told people to watch. All the prodding and promoting wasn’t enough to convince many fans to tune in.

College football’s move to create a new tradition with semifinal matchups on New Year’s Eve drew ratings more than a third lower than last season, when the matchups were held on New Year’s Day.

The Orange Bowl between Clemson and Oklahoma, which kicked off about 4:10 p.m. EST on ESPN, drew a 9.1 rating, a 38.5 percent drop compared to last year’s Rose Bowl, which got a 14.8 rating. The number of viewers dropped 44.5 percent from 28,164,000 for the Rose to just 15,640,000 for the Orange.

The Michigan State-Alabama Cotton Bowl drew a 9.6 rating for ESPN compared to 15.2 for Ohio State-Alabama in the Sugar Bowl last Jan. 1 – a 36.8 percent drop. Total viewership crashed 34.4 percent, going from 28,271,000 to 18,552,000.