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Rose Bowl Draws 18.6M Viewers; Up 9% From Last Year

ESPN saw a 9% increase in viewers for the Rose Bowl game from last year, according to Nielsen fast nationals. The late-afternoon contest between Michigan State and Stanford averaged 18.6 million viewers.

The game was also up 9% with a 10.2 HH rating.

Later that evening, ESPN's coverage of the Fiesta Bowl between Central Florida and Baylor drew 11.2 million viewers, up 6% from last year's Orange Bowl, which aired in the same New Year's evening time slot. The 6.6 HH rating was also an 8% improvement over last year.

Overall, the two games were up 8% from last year's two New Year's Day BCS bowl games, averaging 14.8 million viewers and an 8.3 HH rating.

(Photo Credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)