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BHMKyle
Georgia Fan
Birmingham, AL
Member since Feb 2013
3366 posts

Most Popular SEC Programs for TV Viewership
Taking only Regular Season CBS Saturday Games Airing at 3:30 PM ET from 2013-2019, below are the programs ranked by Median Viewership along with the total number of games aired in parentheses...

1. Alabama (25)- 6.582 million
2. Auburn (16)- 6.580 million
3. Texas A&M (12)- 6.157 million
4. Mississippi St. (7)- 5.403 million
5. Georgia (23)- 4.920 million
5. Florida (17)- 4.920 million
7. LSU (10)- 4.862 million
8. Tennessee (17)- 4.446 million
9. S. Carolina (4)- 4.349 million
10. Kentucky (4)- 3.895 million
11. Arkansas (4)- 3.801 million
12. Ole Miss (7)- 3.590 million
13. Vanderbilt (2)- 2.782 million
14. Missouri (2)- 2.239 million

**Obviously Mississippi State sticks out. With only 7 games aired on CBS during the 6.5 year span of time, there probably isn't enough data to produce a fair rating for them. In fact, of the 7 games aired on CBS, four were during the 2014 season in which State spent time at #1. Every other program in the Top 7 above is more evenly distributed from season-to-season, but State's score is being manipulated by one great season accounting for more than half their data.

So in order to get a better picture, let's look at ESPN Saturday night games:

Taking only Regular Season ESPN regular Saturday Night Games Airing between 6:00 PM and 9:30 PM ET from 2013-2019, below are the programs ranked by Median Viewership along with the total number of games aired in parentheses...

1. Alabama (15)- 4.109 million
2. Auburn (16)- 3.800 million
3. Georgia (6)- 3.545 million
4. Ole Miss (17)- 3.470 million
5. Arkansas (12)- 3.375 million
6. Missouri (6)- 3.350 million
7. S. Carolina (3)- 3.189 million
8. Florida (5)- 3.140 million
8. Kentucky (3)- 3.140 million
10. LSU (16)- 3.114 million
11. Texas A&M (11)- 3.112 million
12. Tennessee (6)- 2.823 million
13. Miss St. (13)- 2.383 million
14. Vanderbilt (2)- 1.850 million

**ESPN obviously airs more games involving SEC West teams in the evening.... partly because the East has been pretty bad in recent years, but also because of the time difference. It's logical to think there's a good chance that ESPN might air an SEC East battle earlier in the day (noon) because of the time difference. This might again skew some of the ratings.

But if you add the CBS results and ESPN results together, it seems to produce a fairly logical ranking of the viewing popularity of each SEC program.

I took both the CBS and the ESPN numbers and divided each team's median viewership by the team at the top of each list to give each program a percentile ranking which compares it to the team at the top. Since Alabama is at the top of both lists, it scores a 1.000 rating for both. Every other team gets a score that is a fraction of Alabama's score that is relative to its median viewership compared to Alabama's.

Then I take the CBS score and the ESPN score and average them together. The results are below.

Most popular SEC programs for Television Viewership (2013-2019):

1. Alabama- 1.000
2. Auburn- 0.962
3. Texas A&M- 0.846
4. Georgia- 0.805
5. Florida- 0.756
6. LSU- 0.748
7. S. Carolina- 0.718
8. Miss St.- 0.700
9. Arkansas- 0.699
10. Ole Miss- 0.695
11. Tennessee- 0.681
12. Kentucky- 0.678
13. Missouri- 0.578
14. Vanderbilt- 0.436

The rankings came out similar to what I thought. The Big 5 (discounting Tennessee) along with Texas A&M are the Top 6. The Aggies have such a large alumni base and fan base along with being in such a massively populated state, they produce good ratings.

I'm not shocked that Auburn was #2 but I am surprised at how closely behind they are to Alabama. Auburn is only fractionally less popular to watch on TV than Alabama.... that is surprising.

How come Florida doesn't produce good television ratings? My guess is because their offense post-Tebow has been flat out boring. National viewers just don't want to watch the Gators.

The same goes for LSU. Their offense has stepped it up this season, but from a national perspective, LSU just isn't that popular.


tjv305
Florida Fan
Member since May 2015
7309 posts

re: Most Popular SEC Programs for TV Viewership
State has high rating on CBS because those game would be against good team with large fan bases . I am not shocked about our rating with us being down and have horrible head coaches for most of that time .


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120
TideSaint
Alabama Fan
Prattville - God's Country
Member since Sep 2008
57533 posts

re: Most Popular SEC Programs for TV Viewership
quote:

1. Alabama (25)- 6.582 million


quote:

3. Texas A&M (12)- 6.157 million


quote:

5. Florida (17)- 4.920 million
7. LSU (10)- 4.862 million


So this is why CBS chose Alabama-A&M over LSU-Florida.


BHMKyle
Georgia Fan
Birmingham, AL
Member since Feb 2013
3366 posts

re: Most Popular SEC Programs for TV Viewership
Most viewed SEC vs. SEC regular games from 2013-2019 (including the CBS primetime games which have an *):

1. Alabama at Auburn, 2013- 13.78 million
2. Alabama at Auburn, 2017- 13.66 million
3. Alabama at Texas A&M, 2013- 13.59 million
4. Auburn at Alabama, 2014- 13.53 million
5. LSU at Alabama, 2013- 11.90 million*
6. Alabama at LSU, 2018- 11.54 million*
7. LSU at Alabama, 2015- 11.06 million*
8. Alabama at LSU, 2016- 10.39 million
9. Miss St. at Alabama, 2014- 10.27 million
10. Alabama at Auburn, 2015- 9.30 million
11. Auburn at Alabama, 2018- 9.13 million
12. Alabama at LSU, 2014- 9.11 million*
13. Texas A&M at Alabama, 2016- 8.46 million
14. Auburn at Alabama, 2016- 8.24 million
15. Alabama at Ole Miss, 2016- 8.17 miillion

**Every Top 15 game involved Alabama... in fact you have to go down to #18 to find a game not involving Alabama


BHMKyle
Georgia Fan
Birmingham, AL
Member since Feb 2013
3366 posts

re: Most Popular SEC Programs for TV Viewership
quote:

So this is why CBS chose Alabama-A&M over LSU-Florida.


I think had they known UF would beat Auburn, they probably would have chosen UF-LSU.... however, Bama and A&M is a safer bet two weeks out because quite frankly both are bigger ratings draws than either Florida or LSU.


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21
secuniversity
Member since May 2015
2820 posts
 Online 

re: Most Popular SEC Programs for TV Viewership
quote:

Alabama


America's team.


00 Tech Grad
LSU Fan
Kennesaw, GA
Member since Nov 2009
5303 posts
 Online 

re: Most Popular SEC Programs for TV Viewership
quote:

Every Top 15 game involved Alabama... in fact you have to go down to #18 to find a game not involving Alabama


The most dominant teams over a span of time have the most (bandwagon) fans watching hoping they win, AND the most opposing fans watching hoping they lose.

That’s pretty simple to figure out.
This post was edited on 10/10 at 10:09 am


Frac the world
Alabama Fan
The Centennial State
Member since Oct 2014
6215 posts

re: Most Popular SEC Programs for TV Viewership


anc
Member since Nov 2012
12207 posts

re: Most Popular SEC Programs for TV Viewership
State sticks out because 5 of State's 7 games were in 2014-15. State was #1 for half of 2014 and Dak Prescott was very interesting to people.



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20
lsufball19
LSU Fan
Franklin, TN by way of Memphis, TN
Member since Sep 2008
34701 posts

re: Most Popular SEC Programs for TV Viewership
quote:

Their offense has stepped it up this season, but from a national perspective, LSU just isn't that popular.

Well when you remove their most watched game every year (Alabama), that kind of moves the needle a bit


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Porter Osborne Jr
Georgia Fan
Member since Sep 2012
26524 posts

re: Most Popular SEC Programs for TV Viewership
Not enough pictures for you?


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31
Gatorbait2008
Florida Fan
Member since Aug 2015
14283 posts

re: Most Popular SEC Programs for TV Viewership
Florida has been boring for awhile to watch so I get why we aren't in the top three. Strong defense and ugly offense doesn't turn people on like we've had for ten years


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00
secuniversity
Member since May 2015
2820 posts
 Online 

re: Most Popular SEC Programs for TV Viewership
quote:

The most dominant teams over a span of time have the most (bandwagon) fans watching hoping they win, AND the most opposing fans watching hoping they lose.

That’s pretty simple to figure out.


Even when Alabama is down they got good ratings. Birmingham is the #1 viewership market in the entire country for CFB, often with 50% of tv sets tuned in to games.


Decker
Alabama Fan
Member since Nov 2015
2132 posts

re: Most Popular SEC Programs for TV Viewership
I often enjoy hate-watching Auburn over watching another Alabama beatdown.


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10
BHMKyle
Georgia Fan
Birmingham, AL
Member since Feb 2013
3366 posts

re: Most Popular SEC Programs for TV Viewership
Most viewed SEC vs. SEC regular season games from 2013-2019 NOT involving Alabama:

1. Texas A&M at LSU, 2013- 7.51 million
2. Georgia at Auburn, 2017- 7.41 million
3. LSu at Georgia, 2013- 7.39 million
4. Texas A&M at Auburn, 2014- 7.21 million
5. Florida at LSU, 2014- 6.78 million
6. Georgia at S. Carolina, 2014- 6.77 million
7. Auburn at Texas A&M, 2013- 6.73 million
8. Tennessee at Texas A&M, 2016- 6.55 million
9. Auburn at Florida, 2019- 6.43 million
10. Georgia vs. Florida, 2018- 6.35 million
11. Auburn at Miss St., 2014- 6.00 million
12. LSU at Auburn, 2018- 5.94 million
13. Auburn at Ole Miss, 2014- 5.80 million
14. Texas A&M at Missouri, 2013- 5.72 million
15. Florida vs. Georgia, 2014- 5.71 million

Of those 15 games, here were the number of times each program was inolved:

7- Auburn
5- Georgia
5- Texas A&M
4- LSU
4- Florida
1- Tennessee
1- S. Carolina
1- Miss St.
1- Ole Miss
1- Missouri

This goes along with the rankings in my OP.... after Alabama, Auburn is without a doubt the 2nd biggest TV draw from the SEC.... Georgia and Texas A&M are slightly behind.... and Florida and LSU are easily #5 and #6, respectively. The other 8 teams don't have much of a draw really.

Another interesting note for Auburn... of those 7 highest ranked games NOT involving LSU:

2 were against Texas A&M
1 was against Georgia
1 was against Florida
1 was against Miss St.
1 was against LSU
1 was against Ole Miss

... so its not like its one matchup each year which makes Auburn more popular on TV. the draw seems to be evened out no matter the opponent, with the exception of Alabama. The Iron Bowl is far and away the SEC's premiere television event during the regular season.


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41
BHMKyle
Georgia Fan
Birmingham, AL
Member since Feb 2013
3366 posts

re: Most Popular SEC Programs for TV Viewership
quote:

Well when you remove their most watched game every year (Alabama), that kind of moves the needle a bit


Not really. As you'll see in my most recent post in the thread, if you remove the Iron Bowl, Auburn has 7 of the next Top 15 most popular games that didn't involve Alabama..... LSU had just 4 on that list.


BHMKyle
Georgia Fan
Birmingham, AL
Member since Feb 2013
3366 posts

re: Most Popular SEC Programs for TV Viewership
quote:

Even when Alabama is down they got good ratings. Birmingham is the #1 viewership market in the entire country for CFB, often with 50% of tv sets tuned in to games.


Very true.

I don't have access to all the market info, but I would love to see total viewership of all SEC games OUTSIDE of Birmingham. It would be interesting to see if Alabama and Auburn are just that much more popular, or is it the Birmingham market ratings that are just causing their games to explode in overall viewership numbers.


notsince98
Missouri Fan
KC, MO
Member since Oct 2012
10907 posts

re: Most Popular SEC Programs for TV Viewership
what is interesting is that in 2007, Mizzou put two games in the top 10 all time highest viewership for the regular season.


BHMKyle
Georgia Fan
Birmingham, AL
Member since Feb 2013
3366 posts

re: Most Popular SEC Programs for TV Viewership
quote:

what is interesting is that in 2007, Mizzou put two games in the top 10 all time highest viewership for the regular season.


Would love to have access to historical TV rankings going back that far. Sports Media Watch is where I got my info, but they only go back to 2012 and the 2012 season mainly only shows the rating without showing the viewership totals.


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10
lsupride87
LSU Fan
River Ridge
Member since Dec 2007
60685 posts

re: Most Popular SEC Programs for TV Viewership
LSU is getting skewed here

Since 2013, our game vs bama hasnt been in the 2:30 slot


That is taking away our biggest money making game every year off of this. Just a thought


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