The Buffaloes’ 45-42 upset in Deion Sanders’ first game as Colorado’s coach scored over 2.5 million more viewers than any other game Saturday, according to Sports Media Watch. An average of 7.26 million people tuned in to Fox to see the Buffaloes beat last season’s runner-up.
Colorado entered the game as a three-touchdown underdog but its win was no fluke. QB Shedeur Sanders — the son of the head coach — set a Colorado record with 510 passing yards and four different players had over 100 receiving yards.
Fox is banking on Sanders and Colorado drawing another big audience in Week 2. The Buffaloes play again on the network at Noon ET — 10 a.m. local — at home against Nebraska in Week 2.
The second-most watched game of the day came in the afternoon as 4.65 million people watched Ohio State’s methodical 23-3 win over Indiana. The Buckeyes didn’t have a great game on offense. But the defense did more than enough against an impotent Indiana offense.
Ohio State’s win was the first for CBS as part of its new contract with the Big Ten. The conference signed lucrative television contracts with Fox, CBS and NBC ahead of the 2023 football season. With the SEC’s new exclusive television deal with ESPN and its affiliated networks kicking in next season, the Big Ten is in line in 2024 to completely take over the 3:30 p.m. ET slot on CBS that for years has regularly featured SEC games.
NBC scored 3.5 million viewers Saturday night for Penn State’s easy win over West Virginia in its first Big Ten broadcast of the season. That game scored 100,000 more viewers than North Carolina’s win over South Carolina on ABC at the same time.
The most-watched game of the weekend came Sunday night, however. The top-10 matchup between Florida State and LSU on ABC averaged over 9 million viewers as the Seminoles beat the Tigers in Week 1 for the second straight season. That game came after at least 2.5 million people watched blowouts earlier in the day. Rutgers’ easy win over Northwestern had 2.68 million viewers, while Oregon State’s big win over San Jose State had 3.23 million watching. Both of those games were on CBS.