10 Million Tune In to Colorado Loss, NFL Football Scores: The Week in Sports Ratings (Sept. 18-24)

Quarterback Shedeur Sanders #2 of the Colorado Buffaloes is sacked by defensive end Jordan Burch and defensive lineman Taki Taimani #55 of the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium on September 23, 2023
The Oregon-Colorado matchup was the most-watched college football game of the season and the only top-rated non-NFL game of the week. (Image credit: Getty Images)

The Colorado Buffaloes’ blowout loss to the Oregon Ducks was a ratings win for ABC as it finished as the most-watched college football game of the season in a week otherwise dominated by National Football League telecasts.

The September 23 game, in which Coach Deion Sanders’s team lost 42-6 to Oregon, drew more than 10 million viewers, making it the largest Nielsen-measured audience of the season, according to Nielsen ratings published by SportsMedia Watch. 

The Colorado-Oregon game barely beat out NBC’s Ohio State-Notre Dame telecast Saturday, which averaged 9.98 million viewers. 

Fox’s late Sunday-afternoon NFL game telecast was the most watched sports program for the week, averaging 24.32 million viewers, followed by NBC’s Pittsburgh Steelers-Las Vegas Raiders Sunday Night Football game, which drew 19.21 million viewers. 

USA Network’s September 24 Andy’s Frozen Custard 300 NASCAR Cup Series race was the most-watched non-football telecast for the week, averaging 2 million viewers, per Nielsen.  

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Top-Rated Live Sports Events, Sept. 18-24
Sept. 24 Fox NFL Football (late afternoon)Fox 24.32 million
Sept. 24 Sunday Night Football NBC 19.21 million
Sept. 24 CBS NFL Football (early afternoon)CBS 17.51 million
Sept. 18 Monday Night Football ABC 15.42 million
Sept. 24 Fox NFL Football (early afternoon)Fox 12.21 million
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Top-Rated Live Sports Events (Non-Football), September 18-24
Date EventNetworkViewership
Sept. 24 NASCAR Cup Series USA Network2.00 million
Sept. 24 Pro Bull Riding CBS 1.96 million
Sept. 21 Fox Thursday Baseball Fox 1.58 million
Sept. 23 NASCAR Xfinity Race USA 828,000
Sept. 24 MLB Sunday Night Baseball ESPN 773,000
R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.