NFL Thanksgiving, Ohio State-Michigan is expected to draw huge viewers – The Athletic

If you love comfort food and TV football, this is your week.

Thursday is the NFL’s annual Thanksgiving extravaganza, and Saturday brings us No. 2 Ohio State to No. 6 Michigan, all of which are expected to generate the best viewership in the regular season.

Let’s start with the ultimate Midwestern rivalry, and perhaps the best of all sports, the Buckeyes and Wolverines.

While the state of Ohio has almost comically dominated this clash in the 21st century, Saturday’s noon kick-off on Fox presents a compelling storyline: Michigan’s long-term luck in its first CFP position rests entirely on victory in an upheaval at the Grande Maison. In addition, these teams did not meet in 2020 due to the pandemic, which is expected to further increase the number of eyeballs.

Michigan beat unranked Maryland 59-18 last weekend and the Buckeyes just dismantled a shocking teardown 56-7 from top-ranked Michigan State which had knocked out Michigan two weeks earlier in the weekend. of a game that has averaged 9.28 million viewers for Fox’s “Big Saturday lunchtime. That’s the most college football viewership so far this season, but it’s likely to drop in the second place after Saturday.

And that could soon be a distant second.

“Ohio State-Michigan should easily deliver the best crowd of the college season. No game has crossed the 10 million mark yet, and 10 million is probably the threshold for this rivalry when the two teams are in the top 10, ”said Jon Lewis, who has been following these numbers since 2006 at Sports Media. Watch.

The last regular season college football show to reach 10 million viewers was prime-time Clemson-Notre Dame last November on NBC.

Patrick Crakes, a former Fox Sports executive turned media consultant, predicts a much larger audience: 16.2 million viewers, which would be the game’s best audience in five years.

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