The Viewership for the College Football Championship Has Plummeted

While the Alabama Crimson Tide routed the Ohio State Buckeyes in their last game, the match is on track to become the least viewed one since college football started staging title games. Alabama took the win over Ohio State with a 52-24 rout, yet the College Football National Championship game drew just 18.7 million viewers. That means the game was the least-viewed championship game in college football since the beginning of the era of staging end-of-the-season match-ups that are meant to determine the national champion.

Just 18.7 Million Viewers Tuned In to Watch the Latest College Football Championship

The Latest College Football Championship The number of viewers is spread throughout different channels, including ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU, and has shown a 27% decrease from the title matchup of last year, which was a slightly closer blowout between Clemson and LSU. The final numbers will include the views from streaming and the ESPNews viewership, and that could move the tally up to above 19 million viewers. Still, it’s unlikely that it will be enough to top the 21.4 million who watched the 2005 Orange Bowl. That game holds the current lowest viewed match title, and in it, the USC defeated Oklahoma with a staggering 55-19.

College Football Is the Latest Sport to See A Huge TV Viewership Drop

Alabama Crimson Tide VS Ohio State Buckeyes While it is certainly bad news that the College Football Championship is suffering low viewer turnout, it is not the first sport to see such a large TV viewership drop. After the tumultuous events of last year, many sports saw schedule changes, delays, and the same record-low turnout.

The game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Ohio State Buckeyes marked the fifth time in the six years that Alabama secured its place for the title game, and this time everything was practically over by halftime. At that point, the Crimson Tide was leading 35-17. The College Football Playoff has been responsible for determining the national champion since 2014, and its predecessor was the Bowl Championship Series (BCS).

In Sport, Black Lives Matter Moves From Protest to Action

In 2021, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement marched on, but with a more subdued beat, as sport transitioned from protest to action by enacting some of the changes players helped bring to light.

From tennis courts to soccer pitches and Formula One starting grids, sportspeople brought their protests into the living rooms of sports fans worldwide in 2020, but BLM aimed to make an impact this year outside arenas and stadiums and inside boardrooms.

A female athlete showing her support of the Black Lives Matter movement

If a league or team in North America did not have a diversity and inclusion department last year, the majority will have one by 2021, under pressure from athletes and fans to address social justice issues.

Don Garber, Major League Soccer commissioner, states that they are trying to position the league as a league for the new America. This makes diversity in the central plank in the annual state-of-league address. He also claims that they all should have an awakening of what happened over the few last years and ensure that they are doing their part.

Racial Injustice Is Real

Athletes from all around the world united in 2020 to express their fury against racial injustice, which was sparked by the death of George Floyd, a Black man who gasped for air and cried out for his mother as a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Athletes taking a knee in support of the BLM movement

Floyd’s passing compelled a reckoning with racial injustice and elevated the Black Lives Matter movement, which arose in recent years in response to the deaths of African Americans in police custody. Athletes took a knee or raised fists in significantly lesser numbers and with less frequency this year.

There were, however, no headline-grabbing demonstrations like those made by Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka at the United States Open, when she wore a mask with the name of a different Black American victim of police violence before each of her matches.

Promoting Black Lives Matter

By 2021, the Black Lives Matter message had been ingrained in the game-day experience, with the phrase “End Racism” emblazoned on the backs of NFL football helmets and cleats, as well as on the steering wheels of Formula One cars.

Athletes show their support of the BLM movement by taking a knee

While athlete mental health became the major theme at the Tokyo Olympics, several athletes used their performances on the world’s largest athletic stage to keep the BLM movement up and center.

Women’s soccer players from the United Kingdom, the United States, Sweden, and New Zealand all took the knee before their opening matches to raise awareness of the need for greater racial equality in sport.