Boise State's last-minute win over Virginia Tech intrigued college football fans, as ESPN recorded its top performance ever with the sport among households.
The contest in which the No. 3 Broncos edged the then No. 10 Hokies 33-30 averaged 7.25 million households on Labor Day night, making it the network's most-viewed college football game - covering regular-season and bowl games - in households.
The Sept. 6 game averaged 9.88 million watchers, according to Nielsen data, to trail only the 10.6 million for ESPN's coverage of last year's meeting between Ohio State and USC. The Labor Day matchup averaged a 7.3 rating -- equaling the USC-OSU average -- and stands as the highest-rated college football game on the network since Florida State at Miami averaged a 7.7 on Oct. 8, 1994
All told, the telecast was the most-viewed program of the day and night across all cable and broadcast networks among households, total viewers, and all key male and people demographics. In addition,
The game also scored as the network's most-viewed and highest-rated non-Saturday college football telecast since at least 1990, when the worldwide leader began tracking audiences, and was the most-viewed and highest-rated college pigskin contest during the first five days of the 2010-11 season, according to ESPN officials.
Counting more than 230,000 unique viewers, Boise State-Va. Tech was also the most-watched college football game ever on broadband service, ESPN3.com, which tallied 1 million unique viewers and 69 million total minutes with college football from Thursday Sept. 2 through Sept. 6, according to officials at the sports programmer.
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