Bowl ratings decline, but Ole Miss-Tech boosts Music City

Basic RGBCollege bowl season’s total TV viewership declined 2 percent in 2013-14, the third time in four years that number has declined.

But ratings for the five BCS games, culminating in Florida State’s victory over Auburn, were up eight percent.

And the Ole Miss appearance in the Music City Bowl, a victory over Georgia Tech, boosted that bowl’s viewership by 43 percent over a year ago, when Vanderbilt played N.C. State.

An analysis of Nielsen ratings data by Jon Solomon of Al.com found that bowl season averaged 5.6 million viewers per game.

The Music City Bowl drew 2.0 million viewers, while Mississippi State’s win over Rice in the Liberty Bowl drew 1.7 million viewers – up 2 percent from last year’s Tulsa-Iowa State matchup.

The Gator Bowl between Nebraska and Georgia drew 2.6 million viewers – a staggering 87 percent increase over the MSU-Northwestern game last year.

John L. Pitts