Colorado-Colorado State draws record 9.3 million viewers
If you took a peek at the slate, Week 3 of the 2023 College Football season was largely uninspiring, except for one matchup: Colorado State and Colorado.
Deion Sanders and the Colorado Buffaloes are the biggest story in the sport for the first month, the but it went into 7th gear after CSU head coach Jay Norvell poured gasoline by sending some shots Sanders’ way during the week.
Many expected a blowout in Colorado’s favor inside of Folsom Field in Boulder, Colo. But it was the exact opposite of that–it lived up to all the hype and then some, though Colorado persevered (after trailing by 11 in the fourth quarter) with a 43-35 double overtime victory to advance to 3-0.
ESPN’s streaming numbers reflect the pregame hype and how much the contest lived up to it. According to an ESPN news release Wednesday morning, Colorado-CSU drew in 9.3 million viewers to make it the most-watched late-night college football game in ESPN history.
It was also ESPN’s fifth-most watched game and their most streamed regular season game ever; the game did not tip off until after 10 p.m. EST Saturday evening and did not conclude until nearly 3 a.m. EST. It marked Colorado’s first game on ESPN in 2023 after it played its first two games against TCU and Nebraska on FOX.
The Buffaloes will play on ESPN Networks at least two more times this season, including against No. 10 Oregon (ABC) in Week 4 on Saturday, Sept. 23 at 3:30 p.m. EST. Five of their remaining nine regular season games do not have an official televised network scheduled yet.
Unless Colorado makes the Pac-12 championship, its contest against Oregon has the best odds to potentially set more ratings records on ESPN Networks (they play USC on FOX), even though the Pac-12 is ironically the best conference loaded with phenomenal quarterback play through the first month of the 2023 season.