UK Football

UK's bowl gets highest TV rating in game's history

Saturday's BBVA Compass Bowl featuring Kentucky and Pittsburgh was one of only 10 college football post-season games to enjoy an increase in TV ratings this year over last year, according to a report compiled by The Birmingham News of Nielsen Media Research Data.

Pittsburgh's 27-10 victory over Kentucky produced the highest rating in the game's five-year history, with a 2.2, up 38 percent from last year when Connecticut beat South Carolina.

Ratings represent the percentage of all homes with televisions tuned into a program.

The game in Birmingham ranked 20th out of 34 bowls rated by Nielsen.

Overall, bowl ratings were down nine percent from last year, according to the analysis, including an 11 percent drop for the national championship game won by Auburn over Oregon. The game received a 15.3 rating on ESPN.

The Rose, Sugar, Fiesta and Orange bowls also drew lower ratings. The five BCS games averaged a 9.5, down 12 percent from last season.

The only bowl games with higher ratings this season than last were the Outback, Cotton, Music City, Las Vegas, Texas, Insight, Hawaii, Beef 'O' Brady's, New Orleans and BBVA Compass.

Louisville's 31-28 win over Southern Mississippi in the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl posted a rating of 1.97, an increase of 21 percent over last year's Rutgers-Central Florida matchup. It ranked 24th among this season's bowls.

Southeastern Conference teams played in seven of the 10 highest-rated bowls.