ATLANTA (Jan. 4, 2012) – One of the most exciting bowl games of the season has become the most watched in its history.
An average of 8.56 million viewers tuned in for this year's Chick-fil-A Bowl, establishing it as the most-viewed non-BCS bowl game telecast in ESPN history. The game was also the most-viewed Chick-fil-A Bowl in history, surpassing the 2007 match-up of Auburn and Clemson that delivered 7.52 million viewers.
Featuring a match-up of two 10-win teams, #8 LSU vs. #14 Clemson, the 2012 edition of the Chick-fil-A Bowl earned a 5.6 household coverage rating. Viewers saw Clemson (11-2) erase an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter and kick a last-second field goal to down LSU (10-3) on the game's final play.
"This was certainly one of the top three or four bowls of the post season and the game and the viewership definitely confirmed that fact," said Gary Stokan, Chick-fil-A Bowl president and CEO. "With an unopposed ESPN TV slot and a great game, we were thrilled the Chick-fil-A Bowl set this record and we thank ESPN, Clemson and LSU for their partnership."
The Chick-fil-A Bowl has been telecast by ESPN every year since 1992. Chick-fil-A Bowl games are now the number-one most-viewed, four of the top 10 and seven of the top-25 most-viewed non-BCS bowl game telecasts in ESPN history.
The game was also the Chick-fil-A Bowl's 16th consecutive sellout, a mark second only to the Rose Bowl among all bowl games in the country. In 2012, the Chick-fil-A Bowl furthered its mission as college football's most charitable bowl game by distributing an all-time high of $1.48 million in charitable and scholarship contributions.