College Football Playoff Semifinals Hit Five-Year High With 21.7M Viewers For ESPN Networks


The 2022 College Football Playoff semifinals, which will send Georgia and TCU to the national championship, scored for ESPN networks.

Saturday’s Georgia-Ohio State CFP semifinal at the Peach Bowl averaged 22.1 million viewers on ESPN networks, according to ESPN and Nielsen fast-nationals, marking the most-watched CFP semifinal since the Georgia-Oklahoma Rose Bowl five years ago (26.9M).

Viewership peaked at 23.9 million viewers from 9:45-10 PM ET, with the Bulldogs winning shortly before midnight ET. The game was the most-watched primetime semifinal since year one, and the fourth-best semifinal of the CFP era.

Earlier Saturday, the TCU-Michigan Fiesta Bowl averaged 21.4 million viewers, also the highest for an early semifinal since the Georgia-Oklahoma Rose Bowl in 2018. Viewership for the Horned Frogs win peaked at 26.4 million from 7:45 – 8 PM ET. It was the third-most-watched afternoon semifinal and sixth best semifinal game of the CFP era.

The two semifinals averaged 21.7 million viewers, up 28% from last year and the highest since 2018. No. 1 Georgia and No. 3 TCU will face off January 9 in the College Football Championship game at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA.

In other non-playoff bowls, the Alabama-Kansas State Sugar Bowl on Saturday drew 9 million viewers —down from last year’s Sugar Bowl between Baylor and Mississippi, which aired in primetime on New Year’s Day, drawing 9.8 million.

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