UConn Misses Down Ratings Year for Bowl Games

2011 was not a good year for college football bowl games on television.  Ratings were down virtually across the board, with some particularly low-rated games even dropping below the 1.6 rating for the 2009 season's PapaJohns.com bowl (UConn 20 South Carolina 7).  The BBVA Compass Bowl, for example, drew its fewest viewers in the game's six-year history with a 1.5 rating for Pittsburgh-SMU. That was down 32 percent from a year ago.  The Birmingham News reports that college football's average 2011-12 bowl rating fell to a new low in the 14-year history of the Bowl Championship Series.  It was a similar story in the stands - average bowl attendance dropped below 51,000 for the first time since 1979.  Twenty-one of 34 bowls tallied by Nielsen ratings attracted fewer viewers than a year ago, including 11 that were down by 20 percent or more. Fighting the trend was the Fiesta Bowl, with Stanford-Oklahoma State achieving a 56-percent increase, marking the largest gain of any bowl from a year ago (2010 Fiesta Bowl:  Oklahoma 48 UConn 20).