Army’s 14-13 win over Navy on Saturday in a snow-covered contest decided by a last-second missed field goal was the rivalry’s highest-rated game since 1994, according to CBS.

The game averaged a 5.9 rating, meaning 5.9 percent of U.S. households with TVs had at least one tuned to the contest. That’s up 5 percent from last year’s mark and hasn’t been topped since the 6.5 rating scored by the 1994 game (Army won, 22-20).

Full audience figures weren’t released, but the rating puts the game in elite company when it comes to college football, per Sports Media Watch:

  • The Nov. 25 Ohio State-Michigan game on Fox drew a 6.2 rating and was watched by about 10.5 million people.
  • Conference championship contests from the Pac-12, Atlantic Coast Conference and Big 12 Conference all posted lower ratings than the Black Knights and Midshipmen.
  • Along with Ohio State-Michigan, only three other regular-season college football games topped Army-Navy in overnight ratings: Ohio State-Penn State, Alabama-Florida State and Alabama-Auburn.

Saturday’s ratings may have ticked up thanks to a competitive game in Philadelphia’s winter-wonderland setting, but the main reason for the spike appears to be the 2009 move of the contest to the second weekend in December, making it the only top-tier college football contest of the weekend. Ratings spiked from 2008 to 2009 (2.4 to 4.2, per Sports Media Watch), then dipped a bit in 2010 before beginning a steady rise.

Next year’s game will be Saturday, Dec. 8, in Philadelphia. CBS has the TV rights through 2028.

Kevin Lilley is the features editor of Military Times.

In Other News
Load More