TV viewership for the UCF Knights’ 40-32 loss to the LSU Tigers in the Fiesta Bowl was on par with UCF’s win over Auburn at the Peach Bowl last year, as the Fiesta Bowl garnered 8.471 million viewers, which is slightly up compared to the Peach Bowl’s 8.377 million viewers. This would put the game basically even as nationally second-most watched UCF football game nationally along with Peach Bowl, and behind the 2014 Fiesta Bowl.
The Fiesta Bowl, which started at same time slot as last year’s Peach Bowl, drew a 5.0 national rating, which is slightly down with last season’s Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, which was played in the similar New Year’s Day timeslot.
The game was up 9% from the 2014 Fiesta Bowl in ratings and 14 percent in viewers from the 2014 Fiesta Bowl (held on New Year’s Eve of 2014, not the UCF-Baylor game), the only other time in the New Year’s Six Era when the game hosted the automatic qualifier from the Group of Five when Boise State took on Arizona. That game drew a 4.6 rating with 7.3 million viewers.
Surprisingly, the game picked up a 14.0 local rating. While that is the third most watched UCF football game in the Orlando market history, it is down from last year’s Peach Bowl audience, which was at 16.0.
The 2014 Fiesta Bowl, where UCF defeated Baylor, is the most-watched UCF telecast within Orlando, garnering a 17.4 rating. That game was on primetime on New Year’s night.
Orlando was the #3-rated market for the Fiesta Bowl behind Birmingham and New Orleans, which led the way.
- New Orleans (25.12)
- Birmingham (21.23)
- Orlando (14.04)
- Greenville (11.15)
- Columbus, Ohio (10.36)
- Tampa-St. Pete (9.57)
- Atlanta (9.48)
- Jacksonville (9.19)
- Austin (8.910)
- Knoxville (8.3)
Keep in mind also that this year’s UCF game was a lead-in to a non-playoff game in the Rose Bowl, while last year’s Peach Bowl was a lead-in to a Playoff Rose Bowl.
The final ratings for the game will not come out for couple days. For example, last year’s Peach Bowl ended up with a national rating of 4.6. The 2014 Fiesta Bowl ended up with national rating of 6.6.