The UCF Knights’ 49-21 win at Georgia Tech on Saturday was watched by 3.06 million viewers on ABC for a 1.75 national rating, according to ShowBuzzDaily.com. That is up from last year’s ABC telecast on September 21 at Pittsburgh, which was watched by 2,550,000 million viewers in the same time slot.
It was the second-most watched college football game of the weekend behind ABC’s primetime game between Miami and Louisville, which was watched by 3.8 million viewers. UCF-Georgia Tech crushed the head-to-head competition of Appalachain State-Marshall, which aired on CBS (1.25 million) according to SportsMediaWatch.com.
In comparison, Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning drew 2.1 million viewers on NBC primetime on Saturday night. Georgia Tech’s win at Florida State the previous Saturday was watched by 3.52 million viewers on ABC in the same time slot.
Keep in mind UCF-Georgia Tech faced head-to-head competition from NBC’s coverage of the 3rd round of the U.S. Open, which drew 3.043 million viewers.
Week 3 of @ESPNCFB viewership is in!— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) September 22, 2020
ABC's Saturday Night Football was ESPN's best CFB telecast of the 2020 season
@ABCNetwork & ESPN were the top two networks in primetime Saturday pic.twitter.com/3T4mr5D4GU
The 3.057 million viewers is the 4th most-watched UCF regular season game nationally, behind only UCF’s primetime win over Cincinnati in 2018 (3.1 million), UCF’s close loss to South Carolina in 2013 (3.2 million) and the memorable Black Friday game with South Florida in 2017 (4.7 million). All of those games were televised on ABC.
Overall it is the 12th-most watched Knights game of all-time nationally, if you include bowl games and conference championship games.
Locally, Orlando was the 5th best market to watch the UCF-Georgia Tech game with a 5.5 rating, according to ESPN media relations. Atlanta was the #1 market for the game with a 7.0, followed by Birmingham (6.8), Jacksonville-New Brunswick (6.3) and Tulsa (6.0). Interestingly, Tampa was also a top ten market for the game, as it drew a 3.7 local rating, which was 10th best nationally and 3rd in the state behind Orlando and Jacksonville.
While the 5.5 local rating is good, it’s not close to the local record for UCF’s most-watched game all-time, which was the 2013 home game against Steve Spurrier and South Carolina, which drew an 11.5 in Orlando, while UCF-South Florida in 2017 and the ABC primetime game against Cincinnati in 2018 both drew 11.1 local ratings.
UCF was scheduled to be on ESPN+ this Saturday at East Carolina with the game starting at noon. However on Tuesday, it was announced that Notre Dame at Wake Forest game that was scheduled for Noon on ABC has been postponed due to COVID-19. Dave Pasch & Mike Golic were scheduled to call that game. Golic’s wife tweeted the following late Tuesday which was confirmed by Mike shortly after.
This is 2020, we never know what is going to happen....not sure when ND and Wake Forest can or will be able to make their game up......now UCF at ECU noon Saturday on ABC— Mike Golic (@espngolic) September 22, 2020
So UCF will be back on ABC this weekend with Dave Pasch, Mike Golic, Sr. and Paul Carcaterra on the call, which makes sense as that is the best option ESPN/ABC has to fill the slot, with SEC games not allowed to air on ABC due to current TV contracts where CBS is the exclusive home for SEC games on broadcast television.
The Knights are scheduled to be on ESPN2 on October 3rd when Tulsa is scheduled to come to town for a 7:30pm kick.
You can check out past UCF television numbers from past years and more right here.