Army Navy Game

Army-Navy TV ratings hit 23-year high

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.

Army 14, Navy 13: Rivalry in pictures

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

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