ATLANTA (Jan. 6, 2014) – Texas A&M’s Johnny-Manziel-led 52-48 comeback over Duke in the 2013 Chick-fil-A Bowl is now the most-viewed non-BCS bowl game in ESPN history.
An average of 8.69 million viewers tuned into the epic battle between #21 Texas A&M and #24 Duke, establishing it as ESPN’s most-viewed non-BCS bowl game telecast of all time. The 2013 Chick-fil-A Bowl surpassed last year’s 2012 matchup of #8 LSU and #14 Clemson, which delivered 8.56 million viewers and now ranks as the second-most-viewed non-BCS bowl game.
“When we selected Texas A&M and Duke, we knew we had one of the most compelling match-ups of the season,” said Gary Stokan, Chick-fil-A Bowl president and CEO. “The dramatic game of record-setting offense was equally as exciting for fans attending as it was for the fans at home, thanks to our unopposed time slot in primetime on ESPN.”
The 2013 Chick-fil-A Bowl also ranks as the 14th most-watched college football game of 2013 and 42nd most-watched non-NFL sporting event of 2013, according to Sports Media Watch.
The Chick-fil-A Bowl has been telecast by ESPN every year since 1992 and now holds the number-one and number-two most-viewed non-BCS games in ESPN history. Chick-fil-A Bowl games now also make up three of the top 10 and eight of the top-30 most-viewed non-BCS games on the network.
Texas A&M’s victory for the SEC tied the rivalry series against the ACC at 11 games apiece since the two conferences have been matched in the Chick-fil-A Bowl (1992). Over its 46-year history, 57% (26 of 46) of Chick-fil-A Bowl games have been decided by a touchdown or less, a significant contributor to the Bowl’s history of consistently high viewership numbers.
EVEN MORE CHICK-FIL-A BOWL RECORDS
Overall, the final installment of the Chick-fil-A Bowl before it joins the College Football Playoff next year was one for the books. In 2013, the Bowl set records in a number of other categories, including:
· GAME RECORDS: The offensive showcase by Texas A&M and Duke set or tied a staggering 20 Chick-fil-A Bowl records, including points scored, total offense, passing and first downs.
· SELLOUTS: This year also marked the game’s 17th-straight sellout, giving the Chick-fil-A Bowl the second-longest sellout streak in the nation (behind only the Rose Bowl) and an average attendance of 71,108 over the last 10 years.
· PAYOUT: In 2013, the Chick-fil-A Bowl distributed a record total team payout of $7.4 million, bringing the 46-year team payout total to $125.2 million.
· GIVING: The Chick-fil-A Bowl maintained its status as “College Football’s Most Charitable Bowl Game,” contributing a record $1.6 million in scholarship and charity in 2013. The Bowl has given an astounding $17.3 million since 2002, including seven straight years of more than $1 million in donations.
 Results from Sports Media Watch (12/31/13) include ratings information from numerous sources, including: Nielsen, Sports Business Daily, ESPN, MLBPR, The Futon Critic, Son of the Bronx, TV By the Numbers. http://www.sportsmediawatch.com/2013/12/2013-ratings-wrap-nfl-dominates-list-of-most-watched-sporting-events/