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BCS Championship game draws 25.6 million viewers for ESPN

BCS Championship game draws 25.6 million viewers for ESPN
Florida State defensive end Dan Hicks storms the field with the rest of the team after beating Auburn 34-31 in the BCS National Championship at the Rose Bowl. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

The BCS National Championship game, which ended in a narrow comeback victory for Florida State over Auburn, brought in big television viewership numbers for ESPN, but not enough for a record. 

The college football battle at the Rose Bowl, the last BCS game ever, drew an average of 25.6 million people Monday night, making it the third-most-watched cable telecast ever. That's lower than ESPN's coverage of the 2011 and 2013 championship games.

In this season's title game, the Florida State Seminoles beat the Auburn Tigers 34-31.

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The similarly close 2011 Auburn-Oregon match-up garnered 27.3 million viewers for the all-time cable record, while last year's more lopsided Alabama-Notre Dame contest pulled in 26.4 million. 

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The Disney-owned sports channel's presentation of the five BCS bowl games averaged 16.5 million viewers, 9% better than last year.

The 16-year-old BCS will be replaced by the College Football Playoff system season and will also air on ESPN.

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