UH Shines in Houston TV Bowl Ratings

EPSON MFP image

 

The TV bigger picture ratings are in for the 2015-16 college football season and “our” UH Cougars again have done themselves proud. As you will easily note in the following table, among the 40 forty big and small bowl games played, UH-Florida State Peach Bowl was the fourth most watched post-season game in the Houston television market, surpassed only by the two college playoff and championship games. Our featured table shows only the three CFP games, bowls hosted in Texas, and bowls involving Texas schools, but the four leaders shown here were the only post-season games to earn double-digit ratings in Houston.

Note too, for UH to achieve a 10.5 rating and a home audience in Houston of 355,000, the Cougars had to pull those local numbers at a game that kicked off at 11:00 AM on Friday, December 31st, a working day for some. Compare that local interest level with the numbers for the TCU, Texas A&M, and Baylor games at more favorable times of day. To me, those comparisons don’t mean that local interest is greater in the Houston market for UH among supporters of the three mentioned Big 12 schools. They simply suggest that UH has awakened a long over-due base of support for the Cougars among alumni and previously unaffiliated fans of this city – and that the Peach Bowl carried much more weight for UH than those other bowls did for the three Big 12 reps. As a result, interest in watching the Cougars this time was greater.

13,000 Cougar fans also made that trip to Atlanta to watch UH shock Florida State in the Peach Bowl. Their red presence and the sounds of the UH band quickly evolved into the sight and sound energy-track of the Peach Bowl that those of us who watched at home on New Years Eve day saw too. Among the Cougar fan base, our energy for the fire of playing at the title match level of college football is now ignited and inextinguishable.

Our UH upgrade in facilities, our 13-1 winning 2015 record, our #8 final rank in the 2015 season polls, the winning culture that President Khator and Coach Herman have brought to UH football, the swelling support among the undergraduate Cougars, and the growing quickly partisanship base among the previously quiet or unaffiliated citizens of Houston have all worked to awaken our awareness and hunger for what comes next. – UH deserves membership in either the Big 12 or the SEC. And soon. And whichever conference gets UH will only be the stronger for it too.

Forgive my Cougar partisanship, readers. Those of you who know me understand that it is just one of those energy life lines that I have lived with since I was a fan of Cougar sports even before my undergraduate school days. Getting my undergraduate degree from UH as a working student is what opened the door for me to later earn my master’s and doctoral degrees from Tulane and Texas. I thank those two very fine schools too, but my heart remains forever with my first love. My only real love in this realm of things. Eat ‘Em Up.

2015-16 COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOWL TV RATINGS IN THE HOUSTON MARKET

# Bowl WINNER LISTED FIRST NETWORK RATING VIEWERS
1 CFT TITLE ALABAMA-CLEMSON ESPN 15.9 569,000
2 CFP ORANGE CLEMSON-OKLAHOMA ESPN 11.1 410,000
3 CFP COTTON ALABAMA-MICHIGAN STATE ESPN 10.9 430,000
4 PEACH HOUSTON-FLORIDA STATE ESPN 10.5 355,000
5 MUSIC CITY LOUISVILLE- TEXAS A&M ESPN 7.4 264,00O
6 TEXAS LSU-TEXASTECH ESPN 7.0 234,000
7 ALAMO TCU-OREGON ESPN 6,2 218,000
8 RUSSELL ATH BAYLOR-N CAROLINA ESPN 4.4 134,000
9 SUN WASHINGTON ST-MIAMI CBS/CH 11 3.0 90,000
10 DALLAS WASHINGTON –SO MISS ESPN 1.5 50,000
11 ARMED FORC CALIFORNIA-AIR FORCE ESPN 1.3 44,000

As for what this report says in general about the value of bowl games, you may enjoy looking at the data from the Houston Chronicle’s digital site on the viewer popularity of all the bowls in the Houston market:

http://www.chron.com/sports/college/article/College-bowl-game-ratings-in-Houston-market-6769812.php

If anything speaks for the banality of the old bowl system, these figures speak loudly. Is it any wonder that Arkansas State and Louisiana Tech in the “New Orleans Bowl” drew only 20,000 viewers in Houston? And those numbers most probably were inflated by the large base of compulsive football viewers who will watch anything that’s put on the screen that has anything to do with football. i.e., “This just in – the Colorado Home for Retired Nuns has just defeated the New Mexico Body and Fender School by a final score of 49-0! – Chalk up a romping walk for the Penguins!”

We may get that eight-club college football playoff format sooner than we first thought, presuming the Houston numbers are consistent with other market figures. Who wants to pay for advertising on all these games that nobody watches?

____________________

Bill McCurdy

Bill McCurdy

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One Response to “UH Shines in Houston TV Bowl Ratings”

  1. gregclucas Says:

    An eight team playoff is perfect. But, of course, the big college powers are ambivalent. Several reasons why. One is that if teams outside the Power 5 are allowed in they might actually win some games. Of course, there could be (and likely would be) a benefit for the Big 5 leagues. They would all be guaranteed one team and sometimes more than one team per league in the field more often than not. It hasn’t happened yet, but someday under the present four team system, in the SEC the team from the “wrong” division will upset the power team from the other in the league championship. Only the winner should rightfully be able to rep the league in the playoffs, but they will use the higher ranked team anyway. As far as I know it is not written that only the actual league champion has the chance to make the playoff field as it should be.

    In a perfect real playoff the five CHAMPIONS from the Power Five leagues would be in an 8 team field with three wild cards. No second place team from any Power 5 league could be considered with more than one loss unless that second loss came in the league championship game. CHAMPIONS from other leagues like the AAC and Mountain West could be considered with one loss. Independents would be considered based on national ranking which would likely keep them from the field with more than one loss anyway.

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