“ESPN’s Auburn-Oregon title game Monday drew 15.3% of U.S. TV households – down 11% from last year’s Alabama-Texas game and the lowest title game rating in six years. This followed notable drops for ESPN’s other BCS games, which this season aired on cable TV for the first time: The Oklahoma-Connecticut Fiesta Bowl fell 30%, followed by the Stanford-Virginia Tech Orange Bowl (off 22%) and TCU-Wisconsin Rose Bowl (off 14%). Only Ohio State-Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl was up (+25%).”
Hiestand points out that 16 million viewers missed out on the BCS games because thy don’t have cable. When you factor that in along with a handful of smaller television markets (Arkansas, Connecticut) involved in BCS games and it shouldn’t be a huge surprise that ratings were down compared to last year.