Bowl ratings up, attendance down in 1st year of playoff era
The new playoff era is drawing lots of college football fans to bowl game broadcasts. But it isn't necessarily drawing more fans to stadium seats.
ESPN announced that the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl semifinals in the College Football Playoff drew the largest two audiences in cable television history, with each game attracting over 28 million viewers.
But bowl attendance has dipped.
The 38 bowls this season have drawn an average announced attendance of 43,285, down 9.2 percent from the average of 47,659 for the 34 bowls last season that led up to the BCS championship game. Even if you exclude the four new bowl games -which all drew fewer than 30,000 fans - the average attendance for the remaining 34 bowls is 45,904, down 3.7 percent.