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NC State-Texas Tech ratings on par with past ESPN2 games

Matt Carter09/22/22
Article written by:On3 imageMatt Carter


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(Photo by David Jensen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The NC State football showdown vs. Texas Tech delivered solid ratings last Saturday in primetime for ESPN2. The contest however was down from the previous week.

An estimated 747,000 watched the Wolfpack defeat Texas Tech, 27-14. In Week 2 of the college football season, a similar timeslot kickoff on ESPN2 for Arizona State-Oklahoma State had just over 1 million viewers.

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Nevertheless, the game was the second-most watched of the weekend on ESPN2 behind Syracuse’s thrilling last-minute win over visiting Purdue at noon, which had an average of 1.21 million watching. The 3:30 contest on ESPN2 between Colorado and Minnesota averaged 690,000 viewers.

The lead-in game may have played a role in the ratings disparity for the primetime games. In Week 2, Appalachian State’s stunning win at Texas A&M was a 3:30 telecast on ESPN2 and had 1.77 million viewers.

The Texas Tech contest was the second time that NC State football was nationally televised by a ESPN network. In Week 1, an estimated 2.031 million viewers watched the noon broadcast at East Carolina on ESPN with a lead-in from College GameDay. That was the 11th most-watched college football game of the weekend.

Thus far, that is the second-most watched noon timeslot on ESPN behind the 3.0 million who saw No. 1 Georgia rout South Carolina this past Saturday. In Week 2, South Carolina at Arkansas had 1.52 million watching.

NC State Football Ratings In 2021

For NC State football, the viewing total Saturday is on par to what the Pack did twice in primetime slots on ESPN2 in 2021, both games on the road.

About 756,000 watched the Pack fall at Mississippi State, and 675,000 viewed the setback at Miami.

Among 10 games in that timeslot on ESPN2 during the regular season, those were the fourth and sixth, respectively, most-viewed games. The only contest to draw more than a million was KentuckyTennessee, which was by a considerable margin the most-watched in that timeslot on ESPN2 at 1.478 million.

The regular-season finale vs. North Carolina (2.79 million) and the double-overtime win over Clemson (2.185 million) from the 2021 schedule that were broadcast. Each of those games was also on ESPN, too.

The NC State-UNC contest in 2021 was also the most-viewed college football game on an ESPN network for Friday night. The closest competitor was the North Carolina-Virginia Tech game on the Friday prior to Labor Day in the season opener for both squads. That telecast on ESPN had 2.579 viewers. The only other Friday night game on the ESPN networks that drew more than two million was Clemson-Syracuse (2.115 million).

Thus far this year, the Florida State win at Louisville is tops for ESPN’s Friday night at slightly below UNC-NC State from a year ago. An estimated 2.75 million watched the Seminoles prevail last week.

The other NC State football classic at Carter-Finley Stadium last fall was the double-overtime victory over Clemson, which was a 3:30 Saturday game on ESPN. That telecast averaged 2.185 million, although it reached a peak of 4.5 million in overtime.

The game edged Pittsburgh’s home win over Clemson for the most-watched game in that time slot all season for ESPN. Interestingly, the top four all featured Clemson.

Thus far this year, however, the Arkansas-Cincinnati game in the season opener for both teams topped NC State-Clemson with 2.90 million viewers. That has been the only 3:30 game for ESPN so far in 2022.