The 3D showing of college football's BCS title game last night at the Marquee Wakefield 12 in Raleigh — one of about 80 theaters nationwide to offer it — had almost no technical glitches and offered an incredibly crisp view. But those moments of a ball or player jumping out of the screen at the audience? Not too many. Here's what they got right and, well, not so right.
In terms of TV ratings, the Orange Bowl did little to bolster the case for the ACC's current national relevance in college football, while the Meineke Bowl showed it has a good thing going.
FOX Sports' telecast of Virginia Tech's 20-7 victory over Cincinnati on Jan. 1 drew a 6.1 rating nationally — reportedly the lowest ever for a Bowl Championship Series game — and only a 3.6 in the Raleigh-Durham market. (Not sure why, but the Charlotte figure was a hefty 8.9, among the highest local ratings, according to FOX. There was no ACC basketball game that day.)
ESPN's telecast of West Virginia's 31-30 victory over North Carolina, in front of a packed house at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte on Dec. 27, drew a 4.5 nationally, a 10.2 in Raleigh-Durham and a 10.5 in Charlotte, the highest in that market for an ESPN or ESPN2 bowl game since the sports network began keeping records in 2001. (The 10.2 here was second only to UNC's 16-10 victory over Auburn in the 2001 Peach Bowl.)
Nevertheless, Stewart Mandel writes for SI.com, the ratings don't paint a picture of health for the BCS system.
The action gets under way Saturday with four games, including Wake Forest in the EagleBank Bowl. Check our complete list for dates, times and networks.
A company called 3Ality Digital in Burbank, Calif., is planning to show the Bowl Championship Series national title game live in 3-D on Jan. 8 in 80 to 100 theaters across the country, including at least four in North Carolina.
The Florida-Oklahoma football matchup is scheduled to be shown at at the Marquee Wakefield 12 in Raleigh, Carmike 14 in Hickory, Carmike Market Fair 15 in Fayetteville and Carmike Wynnsong in Winston-, says Angela Gyetvan, vice president of sales and marketing for 3Ality. Tickets should cost $18 to $22.
The company tried out the technology on a Thursday night NFL game Dec. 4 between San Diego and Baltimore, which was shown in 3-D to three test audiences, Gyetvan says.
Despite a couple of glitches, "people just went crazy," she says. "Even the jaded NFL staff members said they'd never seen anything like it."
The Associated Press reported that the test broadcast went black twice before halftime as the satellite signal went down, and some camera moves had audience members crossing their eyes and removing their polarized lenses.
But audiences generally approved of the technology, which adds depth to the field and gives a sense of being there in person. Shots of cheerleaders were a big hit.
Last Saturday’s SEC Championship was the highest-rated college football game of the season, The Nielsen Co. reports. Florida's victory over Alabama on CBS drew a 9.3 rating — it was seen in 9.3 percent of the nation's households by an estimated 15.1 million viewers, making it the most watched SEC Championship ever and the highest-rated, non-bowl game since 2006.
ABC’s "Saturday Night Football" had six of the top seven games. Not surprisingly, given the way the season played out, Big 12 games dominated the top 10, with seven of the top nine broadcasts.
No sign of the ACC in the top 10, which follows:
Rank Time/date Network Game Rating
1. 4 p.m. Dec. 6 CBS SEC Champ: Alabama-Florida 9.3
2. 8 p.m. Nov. 1 ABC Texas-Texas Tech 7.5
3. 8 p.m. Sept. 13 ABC Ohio State-USC 6.9
4. 8 p.m. Nov. 22 ABC Texas Tech-Oklahoma 6.6
5. 8 p.m. Oct. 25 ABC Penn State-Ohio State 6.4
6. 8 p.m. Nov. 29 ABC Oklahoma-Okla. St. 5.7
7. 8 p.m. Dec. 6 ABC Big 12 Champ.: Missouri-Okla. 5.5
8. 8 p.m. Nov. 8 ABC Okla. St.-Texas Tech; Cal-USC 5.3
9. 12 p.m. Oct. 11 ABC Texas-Oklahoma 5.2
10. 3:30 p.m. Nov. 8 CBS Alabama-LSU 5.1
The ACC title game, in which Virginia Tech whipped Boston College, drew a 2.6 rating on ABC.
The challenge came from one of our columnists, Caulton Tudor, who was betting, without any actual exchange of money, that if the Penn State-Ohio State college football game Saturday night on ABC didn't beat Game 3 of the World Series between Philadelphia and Tampa Bay in the Nielsen Ratings, "it'll be close."
Actually, Penn State's 13-6 victory drew a 6.4 rating to Game 3's 6-1, or about 7.35 million households to almost 7 million, according to Nielsen's weekly broadcast network ranking for the period of Oct. 20-26. Rain, however, prevented Game 3 from starting until almost 10 p.m. The Penn State-Ohio State game started just after 8 p.m.
Game 4 on Sunday drew a 9.3, Game 1 a 9.2 and Game 2 an 8.1.
And "Dancing With The Stars" on ABC trumped every other telecast with a 12.0.
Scout.com has six ACC football classes in its top 25 in its new evaluations of the Class of 2008.
Video highlights from from ECU's 24 -3 win over West Virginia, Saturday, Sept. 6, 2008, at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in Greenville. (Staff video by Travis Long)
See video highlights from the NC State and South Carolina game Thursday, Aug 28, 2008 in Columbia, SC. (Staff video by Travis Long)