The tall task of creating tradition hasn’t come easy for ESPN. New Years Eve isn’t a night for most people to stay in; even the most introverted. So it can’t come as a surprise that ESPN’s College Football Semi-Final didn’t rate well last night. But even the biggest doubters didn’t expect this drop:
Overnights: 9.9 for Cotton and 9.7 for Orange. Last year's semis were 15.5 for the early game and 15.3 for the late one.
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) January 1, 2016
Deadspin reported that playoff officials had the opportunity to move the game to January 2nd, but were set on creating a new tradition. Even in the best case scenario, the ratings weren’t going to look great this year. The real test will be next year and the year after that to see if there is steady improvement.