ESPN released its numbers for Week 1 of the college football season. It showed strong ratings for both the Alabama-Virgina Tech game and the Auburn-WSU game. Also, Birmingham was the hottest market for college football during Week 1 of the college football season.

According to ESPN press release, “Birmingham, the highest-rated metered market for ESPN’s regular-season game telecasts for 12 consecutive seasons, began 2013 in an impressive fashion. The football-hungry market took the top spot for ESPN’s five days of game telecasts, with a 14.5 rating. New Orleans is second (7.7) followed by Greenville (6.5); Nashville (5.4); Memphis and Knoxville (5.2); Louisville, Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin (4.5) and Jacksonville (4.4).”

Does this mean Birmingham is still the Football Capital of the South?

College Football shows strong ratings for ESPN with Birmingham leading the way.
College Football shows strong ratings for ESPN with Birmingham leading the way. PHOTO: Clemson, SC – August 31, 2013 – Clemson Memorial Stadium: Lee Corso on the set of College GameDay Built by the Home Depot
(Photo by Allen Kee / ESPN Images)
According to ESPN: No. 1 Alabama vs. Virginia Tech (Saturday, Aug. 31, 5:30 p.m., ESPN): 5,169,000 viewers and a 3.0 US rating.

The Auburn vs Washington State game on ESNU was also strong. According to ESPN, “ESPNU also posted large audiences for its Saturday telecasts, highlighted by 922,000 viewers and a 0.5 US rating for Auburn’s 31-24 victory over Washington State. The prime time telecast averaged more viewers than any cable network other than ESPN or ESPN2.”

And good old College Gameday posted numbers better than last season’s premier. So, that means fan favorite Lee Corso still resonates with viewers. According to ESPN, “ESPN began Saturday with a special four-hour College GameDay (from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) that averaged a 2,112,000 viewers and a 1.4 US rating. The program originating from Clemson outperformed last season’s 1,899,000 viewers for a two-hour season-opening show.”

CBS opens its coverage of college football with the SEC Game of the Week Texas A&M hosting Alabama in Week 3. It will be interesting to see what kind of numbers that game draws for the Tiffany Network.

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