BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) – The Rose Bowl’s move to cable drew ESPN’s highest preliminary rating for a non-NFL game.
TCU’s 21-19 win over Wisconsin on Saturday earned an 11.7 overnight rating, down 15 percent from the 13.8 for Ohio State-Oregon on ABC last year. ESPN is available in about 13 percent fewer homes than ABC.
The rating was down just 3 percent from the 12.1 in 2008 for USC-Illinois.
The BCS bowls switched to cable for the first time this season, with ESPN taking over the contract for the Fiesta, Orange, Sugar and title game from Fox and shifting the Rose from sister network ABC.
Oklahoma’s 48-20 victory over Connecticut in the Fiesta on Saturday drew a 6.7, lower even than two recent regular-season games on ESPN: USC-Ohio State in 2009 and Boise State-Virginia Tech in 2010.
ESPN said Sunday the Rose Bowl rating was the highest non-NFL overnight on all of cable since it began keeping records in 2001.
Ratings represent the percentage of all homes with televisions tuned into a program. Overnight ratings measure the country’s largest markets.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)