Ratings touchdown: CCU, BYU matchup most-watched game in five years on ESPNU

Ratings touchdown: CCU, BYU matchup most-watched game in five years on ESPNU
Coastal Carolina quarterback Grayson McCall, right, hands the ball off to CJ Marable during the first half of an NCAA college football game against BYU Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020, in Conway, S.C. (Source: AP Photo/Richard Shiro)

CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) – Coastal Carolina’s Saturday showdown against BYU was a massive success, not only due to the Chants’ performance on the field, but for the significant exposure the school received across the country.

A press release from ESPN states the last-minute matchup drew a total live audience of 1,425,000 viewers across all TV and digital platforms. This figure includes ESPNU, ESPN2 bonus coverage and streaming.

The game averaged 1,212,000 viewers on ESPNU, the most viewed game on ESPNU since 2015, and the fifth-most viewed on ESPNU of all time, according to ESPN.

“The live streaming audience contributed an average minute audience of 103,000 viewers, second best for any game on ESPN networks in Week 14. The audience peaked with 2,115,000 at 8:50 p.m., when Coastal Carolina stopped BYU’s goal line drive in the closing seconds of the game,” the release stated.

According to ESPN, the matchup also ranked as the top college football video clip in Week 14 across ESPN’s digital platforms with 1.4 million video starts.

Before the big game, Coastal Carolina University welcomed ESPN’s College GameDay to campus for the first time, which school officials lauded as a “tremendous opportunity.”

Martha Hunn, CCU spokesperson, said every 30 seconds of GameDay has a value of more than $51,000, which amounts to roughly $18 million for the three-hour show.

In addition, the software CCU uses to track media mentions and buys spiked in the five days starting on Dec. 1, when it was announced the Chants would take on BYU.

The spike in traffic, Hunn added, generated more than $167 million in value.

“We’re having one of those dream years but to have significant success was always the plan. You’re not going to have a perfect season every season, but I do think we’ve got all the ingredients to be good for a long time,” said Matt Hogue, CCU athletic director.

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