Coach Prime Turns Colorado Football Into A Ratings Juggernaut
BOULDER, COLORADO - SEPTEMBER 9: Head Coach Deion Sanders takes the field during warmups at Folsom Field on September 9, 2023 in Boulder, Colorado. Coach Sanders will lead the Colorado Buffaloes in a matchup against their long-time rivals, the Nebraska Cornhuskers, during Coach Prime's highly anticipated home debut.
RJ Sangosti / MediaNews Group / The Denver Post via Getty Images

Colorado Football Head Coach Deion Sanders, commonly referred to as “Coach Prime,” has turned the school’s abysmal football program — which went 1-11 last year — into one of the most watched teams in all of college football this year.

The team’s most recent game — a 43-35 win in double OT on Saturday — drew a staggering 9.3 million viewers, making it the most-watched late-night college football game in the history of ESPN, the network said. The game had a peak of 11.1 million viewers.

Despite the game not ending until 2:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, it was still “ESPN’s fifth-most-watched regular-season game ever on the network for any time slot,” the network said. “That broadcast window for ESPN college football averaged about 1.7 million viewers last year.”

“It also was the most-streamed regular-season college football game of all time for ESPN,” the network added.

In Week 1, Colorado beat national championship runner up TCU on the road in a game carried by Fox Sports, which was the most watched game of the day with 7.3 million viewers. It was Fox Sports’ most-watched Week 1 “Big Noon Saturday” game ever and it was the network’s third-most-watched Big 12 regular-season college football game ever, according to The Athletic.

Only Florida State vs. LSU had more viewers in Week 1 and that game was a standalone Sunday night game, allowing it to have more viewers before the NFL season kicked off.

In Week 2, Colorado thumped arch-rival Nebraska 36-14 on Fox Sports, bringing in an audience of 8.73 million viewers.

“It was the most-watched regular season Pac-12 game ever for Fox and the 10th most-watched regular season college football game ever for the network,” Yahoo Sports reported.


In Week 2, only Texas vs. Alabama had more viewers with 8.76 million tuning in.

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