College Football Playoff semifinals make cable ratings history

Posted at 10:45 AM, Jan 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-05 11:51:05-05

Sports fans weren’t kidding when they asked for a playoff.

The first College Football Playoff games were a success Thursday, with each game breaking the record for most watched cable program in history.

According to CNN, 28.2 million viewers watched Florida State lose to Oregon on ESPN, followed by 28.3 million watching Ohio State beat Alabama.

"These record setting numbers illustrate the enormous fan interest in college football and the wide ranging appeal of the new College Football Playoff format," said John Wildhack, ESPN’s executive vice president of programming, in a statement.

But that’s still one-third of the audience that watch the Super Bowl, which drew 112.2 million viewers last year – the most ever for any TV broadcast.

On Jan. 12, Ohio State and Oregon play for the national championship.

Gavin Stern is a national digital producer for the Scripps National Desk.