ESPN's ratings are in the for 2015 College Football Playoff semifinals between Clemson-Oklahoma and Alabama-Michigan State, and the initial numbers look to be, at least early on, significantly lower than 2014's. The overnight rating came in at 9.9 for the Cotton Bowl and 9.7 for the Orange Bowl — quite a different number than last year's semis, which aired on New Year's Day.
The good news in part for ESPN however is that Watch ESPN set records on both semifinals, as the Cotton Bowl and Orange Bowl become the second and third most-streamed games for any sport besides the World Cup according to ESPN's official release.
Oklahoma vs. Clemson came in as ESPN's seventh best non-Championship College Football Game on record, also according to the release. The New Year's Eve overnights, thanks to the semifinals went up drastically. Michigan State-Alabama brought in, unsurprisingly, the highest Cotton Bowl on Record and the semifinal Orange Bowl was the highest Orange Bowl since 2006. Birmingham and Greenville came in as the No. 1 and No. 2 best local markets for both semis; Greenville Receives Highest-Rated Bowl Game Ever on ESPN for Orange Bowl.
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