Alabama and Clemson delivered another classic Monday night, but the national championship ratings indicate the the traditional television audience was a little smaller for the rematch.
The Crimson Tide’s second straight national title showdown with the Tigers had a 15.3 overnight rating. That marked about a 4 percent drop from last year’s 16.0 rating, according to Sports TV Ratings.
Last night's Clemson-Alabama game pulled a 15.3 overnight, which is down from last year.
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) January 10, 2017
The drop doesn’t necessarily reflect poorly on the two teams or the national interest in the game though.
Television ratings in general have been down in recent years, with live sporting events being the most consistent, reliable programs in terms of drawing big numbers. But even the ratings machine that is the NFL dealt with a ratings drop this year.
Nielsen ratings also don’t account for viewers who stream shows and sporting events online. Any viewers who watched Alabama-Clemson on WatchESPN would not have been included in the overnight rating.