Lopsided game leads to low Rose Bowl ratingsPosted: Friday January 04, 2002 4:55 PM
Updated: Saturday January 05, 2002 7:48 PM
NEW YORK (AP) -- The one-sided Rose Bowl was not a hit with TV viewers, and ratings for the four-game Bowl Championship Series dropped 22 percent from last year to their lowest point ever.
No. 1 Miami's 37-14 victory over Nebraska to claim the national championship Thursday night drew a 13.8 national rating for ABC Sports.
That's 22.5 percent lower than the 17.8 for last year's BCS title game, when Oklahoma beat Florida State 13-2 in the Orange Bowl. Each rating point represents a little more than 1 million TV households.
Miami smothered Nebraska in the second quarter, taking a 34-0 lead by halftime, and the TV audience started to decline from late in the first half. After peaking with a 15.7 rating from 8:30-9:30 p.m. EST, viewership dropped to 13.6 from 9:30-10 p.m., and continued downward until the game ended.
ABC is paying $525 million for seven years of TV rights to the top four college bowl games, through 2006.
Those games -- the Rose, Orange, Sugar and Fiesta Bowls -- drew a total combined rating of 43.2 this year, well down from last year's 55.5 and the poorest since the BCS started with the 1998 season.
It's also lower than those games' ratings in the last three years of the Bowl Alliance, the predecessor to the BCS.
ABC wasn't helped in 2002 by a series of blowouts, with the four top bowls decided by an average of 22.7 points and all pretty much were won by halftime. Last year, the average margin in those games was 17.5.