In Brief : Fiesta Is Tops in TV Bowl Ratings

Associated Press

NBC’s Fiesta Bowl telecast beat ABC’s Rose Bowl game in the overnight ratings, but the margin of victory was narrower than expected.

Notre Dame’s 34-21 victory over West Virginia in the Fiesta received a 15 rating in major markets across the country, while Michigan’s 22-14 win over Southern California in the Rose earned a 12.7.

Because the national championship was at stake in the Fiesta, it was expected to overwhelm the Rose in their head-to-head meeting on television. But apparently many viewers switched from the Fiesta to the Rose after Notre Dame took a 23-6 halftime lead.


The Michigan-Southern Cal game wasn’t decided until the Wolverines intercepted a pass in the final minute.

It was the first Rose Bowl telecast for ABC, which last summer signed a nine-year, $100 million contract with the country’s oldest bowl. NBC had shown the game for 37 straight years.

According to the overnights, the third highest-rated bowl Monday was NBC’s Orange, which received a 11.2. It was followed by CBS’ Cotton at 10.2, ABC’s Sugar at 7.6, NBC’s Hall of Fame at 7.1 and ABC’s Citrus at 6.3.