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UCF’s Win Over Florida Draws 3 Million Viewers on ESPN

Gasparilla Bowl one of ten most-watched UCF games ever

Photo: Noah Goldberg

The UCF Knights’ 29-17 win over the Florida Gators in the Gasparilla Bowl last Thursday was a huge success on television, drawing 3.201 million viewers, according to It was the most-watched UCF Football telecast since the 2019 Fiesta Bowl against LSU.

It is also the 10th-most watched UCF Football telecast nationally ever, and 7th-most watched UCF bowl game ever.

The game was the most-watched pre-Christmas UCF bowl game ever, passing the 2009 St. Petersburg Bowl (the precursor to the Gasparilla Bowl) against Rutgers, which drew 2.9 million viewers. That game was UCF’s third-ever bowl game, and the first the Knights had ever played in the state of Florida.

It is the 2nd most watched St Pete/Gasparilla Bowl game ever behind only UCF-North Carolina State on December 26, 2014 (3.27 million).

The 2021 Gasparilla Bowl was the second-most watched program on cable TV on Thursday, behind the 49ers-Titans game on NFL Network, which was watched by 7.9 million. All told, coming in second place to an NFL game on a Thursday night is nothing to sneeze at.

We are expecting to receive local viewership numbers later in the week.