Notre Dame Upset Of No. 1 Clemson Was Most-Watched Fighting Irish NBC Game In 15 Years

Bruce Haring
·2 min read

Despite an interruption for politics, NBC Sports’ coverage of Saturday night’s top-five clash between the No. 1 Clemson Tigers and the No. 4 Notre Dame Fighting Irish averaged a preliminary Total Audience Delivery of 9.44 million viewers across NBC TV and NBC Sports Digital. That makes it the most-watched Notre Dame on NBC game in 15 years, according to Fast National Data released today by Nielsen and digital data from Adobe Analytics.

The totals do not include Out of Home viewership, which is included in official national viewership, and will be available on Tuesday. Viewership also does not include the portion of the game that was interrupted on NBC by coverage of President-elect Joe Biden’s speech.

The Fighting Irish’s thrilling double-overtime victory, 47-40, over the nation’s top-ranked team is the most-watched game since the “Bush Push” game against USC on Oct. 15, 2005, which racked up 10.1 million viewers. That game is the most-watched Notre Dame on NBC primetime game on record.

The “Bush Push” game ended when USC running back Reggie Bush pushed quarterback Matt Leinart into the end zone for the winning touchdown. USC later had to vacate the win for recruiting violations.

Last night’s game, which peaked at 14.2 million viewers from 11:30-11:45 p.m. ET (during the second overtime), will likely rank as the most-watched college football game of the season so far when official viewership, which includes out-of-home audience, is issued on Tuesday.

Clemson-Notre Dame (7:35-8:27 p.m. ET and 8:57-11:47 p.m. ET) delivered a 5.4/12 household rating.

NBC Sports’ coverage of 2020 Notre Dame Football concludes on Saturday, Dec. 5, when the Fighting Irish host the Syracuse Orange at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC. This year, NBC Sports Group and Notre Dame kicked off their 30th season. NBC Sports Group and the University of Notre Dame began their relationship in 1991 and have renewed the partnership numerous times. The current agreement runs through the 2025 season.

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