The UCF Knights’ 49-23 loss to BYU was watched by 1.55 million viewers on ESPN last Tuesday night, according to SportsBuzzDaily.com. That is up from one year ago, when UCF beat Marshall at the Gasparilla Bowl on December 23rd and drew 1.154 million viewers.
Tuesday’s Boca Raton Bowl is also UCF’s second least-watched bowl game of all-time.
The game is down from last year’s Boca Raton Bowl game between SMU and Florida Atlantic, which drew 1.9 million viewers. However, it is worth noting that last year’s Boca Raton Bowl aired on ABC versus ESPN.
This year’s game also had stiff competition, as it went up against the NBA’s Opening Night, with the Brooklyn Nets/Golden State Warriors game drawing 2.7 million viewers on TNT in same time slot. The Los Angeles Lakers/Los Angeles Clippers game, which tipped off at 10 p.m., was the most-watched cable program of the night with 3.081 million viewers.
TNT delivered the most-watched NBA Opening Night since 2017; @BleacherReport was the #1 most engaged sports media brand across social media platforms for the day. pic.twitter.com/CPVIUgz6nD— TurnerSportsPR (@TurnerSportsPR) December 23, 2020
Cincinnati at UCF TV Viewers Up From 2019
The Boca Raton Bowl ranks as the 4th most-watched UCF Football telecast of 2020 and the second most-watched game that aired on ESPN. Cincinnati’s 36-33 win over UCF on November 21st was the most-watched UCF game to air on ESPN, with 1.58 million viewers, according to SportsMediaWatch.com.
The Bearcats-Knights game in 2020 was up from last year’s UCF-Cincinnati game, which drew 1.444 million on Oct 4th. Keep in mind that the 2019 game aired on a Friday night and is the second most-watched UCF-Cincinnati game ever, only behind the 2018 ABC primetime game at UCF, which did 3.1 million viewers.
The Knights-Bearcats game is third most-watched UCF football game nationally of the season behind UCF-Memphis (1.90 million), which aired on ABC on October 17th, and UCF’s season opener at Georgia Tech (3.06 million) on September 19th, which also aired on ABC. It is also the third straight year that the Cincinnati-UCF game has drawn over 1.4 million viewers.
War on I-4 Viewers Significantly Down From 2019
One of the least-viewed UCF games of the season was on Black Friday, as the Knights-Bulls game only drew 529,000 viewers on ESPN, which is significantly down from last year’s game, which aired on ESPN in primetime and drew 1.758 million viewers. It is the third least-watched War on I-4 game since 2013 that has aired on ESPN, only ahead of the 2014 Black Friday game (447,000), and the Thanksgiving night game in 2015 (388,000). The 2014 game aired at Noon on ESPN2 while the Thanksgiving night game aired on ESPN going up against the NFL.
One thing that went against the War on I-4 was the fact that it was up against Notre Dame-North Carolina which got more than six million viewers on ABC.
UCF-USF still has the record for the most-watched American Athletic Conference game ever with 4.7 million viewers on ABC in 2017. But of the seven UCF-USF games that have aired on ABC, ESPN, or ESPN2 since 2013, only four meetings have generated more than a million viewers.
UCF-Georgia Tech Was Most-Watched UCF Game of 2020
UCF’s win over Georgia Tech on September 19th was the most-watched UCF game of the season both nationally (3.06 million) and locally (5.5 rating). It was the first time a UCF game drew over 3 million viewers in a non Bowl game since the 2018 AAC title game against Memphis (3.3 million). The last time a UCF game garnered over 3 million viewers in a regular season game was the ABC primetime showcase against Cincinnati on 11/17/18 (3.1 million). UCF’s loss at Memphis on 10/17/20 on ABC was second most watched UCF game of the season both nationally (1.9 million) and locally (4.3 rating).
The UCF-Georgia Tech game had more viewers in Orlando than any Jacksonville Jaguars game in the market. The highest-rated Jaguars game this season in Orlando was a 4.4, when the Jaguars took on the Los Angeles Chargers on October 25th. The most watched football game to date in Orlando in the fall was the Kansas City Chiefs-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game which did a 14.4 on November 29th. The Miami Dolphins at Arizona Cardinals game is highest-rated Dolphins game to date in Orlando with a 10.3 rating on November 8th.
Check out our database for all UCF TV numbers in Football right here.