Jan 15, 2008

Capital One Bowl Shines in TV Ratings and Attendance

The 2007-08 bowl season was an outstanding one on all fronts for the Capital One Bowl, solidifying the New Years’ Day game’s stronghold as one of college football’s premier postseason events. This year’s contest between Michigan and Florida has been widely-held as the finest game to be played in the ’07-08 postseason and the television and attendance numbers reflect those sentiments.

In the recently-released television ratings, the 2008 Capital One Bowl was the highest-rated non-Bowl Championship Series game by a landslide and was the third-highest rated game overall, trailing only the BCS National Championship game (14.40) and the Rose Bowl (11.11). The 9.13 rating achieved by the game was the bowl’s highest since 1998 and was over a point higher than the Tostitos Fiesta, FedEx Orange and Allstate Sugar bowls.

Of the five BCS games and the Capital One Bowl, only two saw a positive percentage change in its ratings from last year as the FedEx Orange rose six percent while the Capital One improved 57 percent, second-best among all bowls. No other non-BCS bowl had a rating higher than 5.09 and the highest among those bowls (Chick-fil-A Bowl) had less than half of the more-than 10 million household impressions generated by the Capital One Bowl in 2007-08.

The high ratings are no aberration, however, as the Capital One Bowl has averaged a 7.7 rating over the course of the last 25 years.

“The BCS games and the Capital One Bowl traditionally lead the television ratings,” said FCSports Executive Director Steve Hogan, “but to have so many viewers share such an amazing game and see a class act like Lloyd Carr finish his career on a high note, was truly special. Add the recent successful vote for a major renovation of the stadium to the mix and this has been one unbelievable year here in Orlando.”

Attendance for the game also was at its best in recent years and one of the best of all time in Orlando. Florida Citrus Sports sold out this year’s game in a record 13 hours after announcing the teams chosen by its Selection Committee. The final game-day tally was 69,748, with over 4,000 of those seats being over the stadium’s normal capacity including temporary bleachers which were added and sold out within the 13-hour time frame. It was the eighth-highest attended game in the bowl’s rich 62-year history.

Also of note, Orlando’s other bowl game – the Champs Sports Bowl – ranked seventh among non-BCS bowls with a television rating of 3.69, giving Florida Citrus Sports two of the nation’s top-12 rated games. The rating was a 23 percent improvement over last year’s contest. The game between Boston College and Michigan State also posted its highest attendance (46,554) since coming to Orlando and the third-highest in the game’s 18 years overall.  

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