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UCF-Cincinnati Draws Good Friday Night TV Numbers

Knights’ loss watched by 1.44 million viewers on ESPN

NCAA Football: Central Florida at Cincinnati Bob Meyer-USA TODAY Sports

The UCF Knights’ loss to Cincinnati on Friday night was watched by 1,441,000 viewers on ESPN, according to

The game had 43% more viewers than last season’s ACC game between Louisville and Georgia Tech which aired in the same timeslot one year ago the same weekend.

UCF-Cincinnati is 3rd-most watched Friday night College Football game so far this season behind the Wisconsin-USF game in Week 1 (1.8 million) and Week 3’s Washington State-Houston game, which is most watched Thursday or Friday night college football game of the season to date. The Knights-Bearcats game is the 5th-most watched game that has aired either on Thursday or Friday night this season to date.

Below is a comparison of this year’s Friday night games that have been televised on ESPN, ESPN2 and FS1.

  • 10/4 - UCF at Cincinnati - 1.44 million viewers on ESPN
  • 9/27 - Duke at Virginia Tech - 1.2 million viewers on ESPN
  • 9/27 - Arizona State at California - 1.41 million viewers on ESPN (10:30 pm)
  • 9/27 - Penn State at Maryland - 990,000 viewers on FS1
  • 9/20 - Utah at USC - 1.42 million viewers on FS1
  • 9/20 - Air Force at Boise State - 895,000 viewers on ESPN2
  • 9/13 - Washington State at Houston - 2.07 million viewers on ESPN (9:15 pm)
  • 9/13 - North Carolina at Wake Forest - 1.37 million viewers on ESPN (6 pm)
  • 9/6 - Marshall at Boise State - 1.38 million viewers on ESPN2 (9 pm)
  • 8/30- Wisconsin at South Florida - 1.8 million viewers on ESPN
  • 8/30 - Colorado State vs Colorado - 1.28 million viewers on ESPN

Overall those are some strong national numbers, considering the game faced tough competition from Game 1 of the ALDS between the New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins, which had the most viewers on cable with 3.3 million on MLB Network, as well as Game 2 of the NLDS between the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers, which had 3 million viewers on TBS.

UCF and Cincinnati was the 4th-most watched cable program in the 18-49 demographic and #5 overall for television (0.42) behind Nationals-Dodgers (0.83), Twins-Yankees (0.83) and Game 2 of NLDS between St Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves (0.56).

WWE’s Smackdown debut on FOX dominated this demographic for the night with a 1.4 rating in that demographic and an 11 share, which is a huge number in television. Smackdown had 3.9 million viewers.

Locally, Orlando was the #4 local market in TV viewership according to ESPN PR, drawing a 4.0 local rating. Cincinnati was the #1 market for the game with a 6.4 rating, followed by Columbus, Ohio which did a 5.2.