2006 Alamo Bowl ranks as ESPN's most-watched bowl game
The national television broadcast of the 2006 Alamo Bowl between Texas and Iowa earned a 6.0 rating making it the most-watched college bowl game in ESPN history.
"The Alamo Bowl continues to be a tremendous success story and this rating certainly speaks to that," said Dave Brown, Vice President, ESPN programming and acquisitions. "Our thanks go out to both schools, the Alamo Bowl and the city of San Antonio for a great game that was enjoyed by a record number of our viewers. We are already looking forward to 2007!"
The 2006 Alamo Bowl's 6.0 rating translates into 5,521,220 households and 8.83 million viewers when considering a 1.6 viewers-per-household factor.
The mark exceeds the 2005 Alamo Bowl between Michigan and Nebraska which was previously ESPN's most-watched bowl and college football game in their history with a 5.4 rating with 4,875,543 households and 7.8 million viewers.
"The 2005 Alamo Bowl was a tough act to follow, but thanks to the fan following of these two storied football programs, a clear television window and the competitiveness of the game an additional one million viewers tuned in and the largest sports crowd in Alamodome history saw the game in person," said Derrick Fox, President/CEO of the Alamo Bowl. "ESPN's four-hour telecast provided tremendous exposure for the City of San Antonio and our game sponsors. It's gratifying that fans across the nation again tuned into the Alamo Bowl in record numbers."
Since 1995, the Alamo Bowl has produced eight of the Top 20 most-watched bowl games in ESPN history. The 2006 Alamo Bowl is ESPN's third highest-rated bowl game ever behind only the 1995 Alamo Bowl (6.3 rating) and the 1998 Holiday Bowl (6.02 rating).
The 1995 Alamo Bowl ranks #8 on ESPN's most-watched bowl game list based on ESPN's household base at the time as it reached 4,256,513 households and 6.81 million viewers.
The 2006 Alamo Bowl, which featured Texas' 26-24 victory over Iowa, was on Saturday, December 30 at 3:30 p.m. CST and kicked off in front of an Alamodome record 65,875 fans. The 2005 MasterCard Alamo Bowl, which featured Nebraska's 32-28 victory over Michigan, kicked off on Wednesday, December 28 at 7 p.m. CST in front of 62,016 fans.
An estimated 31,000 fans from outside of San Antonio attended this year's Alamo Bowl resulting in a direct economic impact of $16 million.
Since its inception through this year's game, the Alamo Bowl has hosted 947,000 spectators at 14 bowl games and two Big 12 Football Championships. With half of these fans from out-of-town the games have resulted in a $231 million direct economic impact on San Antonio. The games have resulted in another $22 million in measurable media exposure from the 100 million viewers of the national television broadcasts.
"It is ironic that the 2006 Alamo Bowl with its record rating and attendance came at a time when we have not yet concluded our title sponsorship process," said Bob Cohen, 2006 Alamo Bowl Chairman. "We are hopeful this exclamation point on an already great performance history is convincing to the prospects we are currently talking to as well as helpful in starting dialog with new businesses interested in participating with us at any level. Bowl games are judged by the quality of schools participating in the game along with their television ratings and attendance and we deliver on all fronts with the marquee teams we receive from the Big Ten and Big 12 conferences, our top ESPN ratings and the capacity crowds coming to San Antonio."