National championship ratings were way up this year.
Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The CFP National Championship Saw TV Ratings Skyrocket

If you watched the College Football Playoff National Championship Game between Michigan and Washington, suffice it to say you were not alone. An average of 25.05 million viewers had their eyes on the college football mega-clash, a major increase over the 17.2 million yielded by last year's uncompetitive contest between Georgia and TCU.

The Action Network's Brett McMurphy shared the national championship's TV ratings on X.

Last year's contest was the least-viewed final in the decade-long history of the four-team format, which ends after this season, but this year saw a major rebound. It was the most-viewed edition since the clash between Joe Burrow's LSU and Trevor Lawrence's Clemson. That year was the sixth-consecutive year with more than 25 million viewers on average, dating back to the very first year of the CFP.

The inaugural playoff final, in which the underdog Ohio State Buckeyes took down legendary quarterback Marcus Mariota and the Oregon Ducks, pulled nearly 34 million viewers. That is still by far the best figure for a playoff final, a number ESPN will look to approach once more as the playoff switches over to a 12-team format next season.

All in all, over 25 million viewers for a game that featured zero lead changes and had several lulls in the action is not a bad number at all. The numbers were likely propped up by increased interest after a fantastic semifinal day, which featured two of the best games in the history of this format.

That day, New Year's Day, to be exact, pulled some of the best numbers ESPN has seen since first airing semifinals back in the 2014-15 season. Both contests came down to the final play, and likely had viewers convinced that the championship would be more of the same.

It didn't quite live up to that standard, but was still competitive through much of the fourth quarter, and surely outpaced the product from last year's final. We'll have to see what kind of results and viewership are generated by next year's 12-team, 11-game playoff .

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