In the college football world, let alone television world, no one really wants the distinction of "least watched [fill in the blank]." Unfortunately for both Boise State and Northern Illinois, they got least watched Poinsettia Bowl. In Nine years.
Wednesday’s Boise State/Northern Illinois Poinsettia Bowl drew 1.4 million viewers on ESPN, down 44% from Navy/San Diego State last year (2.5M) and down 58% from Utah State/Northern Illinois in 2013 (3.3M). Ratings were not immediately available.
The 1.4 million viewers ranked seventh on the day. Just below some show on MTV and above Celebrity Foodfight.
(Photo courtesy of Showbuzzdaily.com)
There are a lot possible contributions to this: first time broadcasting in the afternoon (and on a weekday to boot), the match up, perhaps the blowout.
There is some consolation that this is not limited to the Poinsettia Bowl:
Of the eight bowl games on ESPN through Wednesday, the Poinsettia Bowl was the sixth to have a decline in viewership and the fourth to hit a multi-year low.
The "too many bowls" crowd could use declining ratings as another reason for paring back. But ESPN still encourages the bowls, and undoubtedly would not want the inventory of live games to decrease. The organizations that run the bowls would not appreciate any decrease either.