If you were looking for a reason why FOX decided to put Penn State and Purdue on its Thursday night slot in Week 1, you have your answer. Despite ESPN having the revival of the Backyard Brawl between Pittsburgh and West Virginia, FOX won the Thursday night battle with Penn State’s nailbiter of a win on the road at Purdue.
A reported total of 3.51 million people tuned in to watch Penn State’s season-opening win at Purdue on Thursday night. That gave FOX the edge over ESPN’s broadcast of Pitt and West Virginia. ESPN reportedly had 3.152 million viewers for the rivalry game between the Panthers and Mountaineers.
As FOX boasted, the Penn State-Purdue game was the “most-watched sports event of the day.” Not too shabby, although the Thursday night time slot dominance will shortly be taken over by the NFL regular season schedule next week.
— FOX Sports PR (@FOXSportsPR) September 2, 2022
Penn State/Purdue CFB on Fox: 3.51M
West Virginia/Pitt on ESPN: 3.152Mhttps://t.co/Mw8snC7BzU
— Sports TV Ratings (@SportsTVRatings) September 2, 2022
Penn State and Purdue may not be the kind of matchup that will grab casual viewers too often, but it helped that the game was broadcast on network television instead of cable and that it went down to the wire. It also ended after the Pitt-West Virginia game, so some viewers may have flipped over to add to the FOX audience once things wrapped up in western Pennsylvania with Pitt holding on to beat West Virginia.
Penn State will open its home schedule in Week 2 with Ohio on Saturday, September 10 at 12:00 p.m. ET on ABC. Odds are pretty good Penn State won’t stand a great chance of winning the ratings battle this time. Alabama and Texas are playing in FOX’s Big Noon Kickoff at the same time.
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