FOX Sports' telecast of Florida's 24-14 victory over Oklahoma on Thursday night in the Bowl Championship Series title game drew a a 15.8 household rating and was seen by an estimated 26.8 million people — 16 percent more than watched last year's BCS game, according Nielsen Media Research.
It was FOX's highest-rated of three BCS games. The most-viewed national championship game, dating to 1991, was Texas' Rose Bowl victory over Southern Cal in 2006, with a 21.7 rating and 35.6 million viewers.
This year's Rose, in which USC defeated Penn State on ABC, was second among this year's bowl games, seen by 20.6 million people. FOX's coverage of Texas' win over Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl was third this year with 17.1 million viewers. The viewership for the Rose and Fiesta increased 8 and 40 percent, respectively, over last year's figures.
The Orange Bowl, in which Virginia Tech defeated Cincinnati on FOX, experienced a decline of 22 percent — to 9.3 million viewers. It was the sixth-highest-rated bowl game this year, following the BCS game, the Rose, Fiesta, Sugar and Capital One bowls.