ESPN Reports Record Ratings for Michigan-Michigan State Football Game

ESPN: 7.4 million viewers nationally tuned in to Michigan-Michigan State football contest.

Last week’s Michigan-Michigan State football game scored record-breaking ratings. That’s according to analysts at ESPN. It was the most watched, regular season, college football game in the Detroit market in network history. More than a quarter of area households tuned-in to see the Spartans beat the Wolverines. Nick Dawson is the vice president of programming and acquisitions at ESPN. He says there are many factors that made the game popular.

“One is brand strength. Obviously with Michigan and Michigan State you have two strong brands historically. Both brands have had success in college football over the years. Both brands are strong in terms of a large alumni base, following, passion for college football.”

ESPN’s Vice President of Programming and Acquisitions Nick Dawson

Dawson says the team’s rankings, both in the top 15, and the historic rivalry between the two teams also contributed to the high ratings. He says the match was the network’s most watched October college football game in 20 years with 7.4 million viewers nationwide.


  • Eli Newman
    Eli Newman is a Reporter/Producer for 101.9 WDET, covering breaking news, politics and community affairs. His favorite Motown track is “It’s The Same Old Song” by the Four Tops.