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College Football Playoff viewership on ESPN bounces back bit
- Hearing over, UNC awaits NCAA's ruling
- Purdue, Irish add 2 more games to series
- LSU LB Key unlikely to play opener
- Seminoles C Eberle back at full strength
- Minnesota to start with rotating QBs
By RALPH D. RUSSO
Viewership for the College Football Playoff has bounced back a bit, with both New Year's Eve semifinals drawing a bigger television than the games last season. There were still far fewer people watching the semis than when they were played on New Year's Day two seasons ago.
ESPN said Sunday that the Peach Bowl and Fiesta Bowl together drew a total live audience of 19.728 million and an 11.0 overnight TV rating. According to the network, the total viewers increased by 14 percent from last season and the average overnight TV rating was up 11 percent from last season's semifinals, which were played on a Thursday.
Alabama's 24-7 Peach Bowl victory against Washington, drew an 11.5 overnight rating for ESPN and ESPN2 and 19.814 total viewers, including those who streamed the game online. The total audience increased 24 percent compared to last season's early semifinal, Oklahoma-Clemson.
Clemson's 31-0 win over Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl had a total live audience of 19.646 million and got a 10.5 overnight rating. The audience increased 4 percent from the late time slot last season, when Alabama shut out Michigan State.
More AP college football at www.collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25 .
Updated January 1, 2017