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Offensive MVP Damian Williams

Offensive MVP Damian Williams

Jan. 14, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO - ESPN's primetime telecast of the 2009 Emerald Bowl was the network's 3rd most-watched college football bowl game ever, according to ratings figures compiled by the network. The Emerald Bowl also owns two of ESPN's 11 most-viewed broadcasts of all time.

The Dec. 26 Emerald Bowl, which matched USC of the Pacific-10 and Boston College of the Atlantic Coast Conference, achieved a bowl record 5,289,000 households based on a 5.3 rating.

The Trojans held off the Eagles, 24-13, in what turned out to be Pete Carroll's farewell game as the Trojans head coach. A sellout crowd of 40,121 braved a pregame rainstorm to view the eighth contest in Emerald Bowl history.

The game's 5.3 rating eclipsed the previous Emerald record of 4.6 for the 2008 matchup between California and Miami. The Emerald Bowl has achieved ratings records in each of its past two games and three of its last four.

"We're very proud of the fact that the Emerald Bowl has been one of the top-rated games on ESPN for the past four years," said executive director Gary Cavalli. "Our philosophy is to give the national TV audience and Bay Area football fans a unique matchup of high-profile teams that normally do not play each other.

"This model has worked very well for us. We've sold out three of our last four games and the USC-BC game drew the third largest audience of all time on ESPN."

"We plan to continue this strategy for the next four years, when we'll showcase the Pac-10 against one of the two top teams from the WAC, potentially Boise State or Fresno State, and Army and Navy. That will mean more sellout crowds, big television ratings, and exciting football in the greatest city in the world."

The Emerald Bowl clash was also ESPN's No. 2 rated 2009 telecast out of 24 bowl games televised by the network and 8th overall out of 34 post-season bowls. The Valero Alamo Bowl was the network's top-rated game.

The all-time ESPN bowl telecasts, by household viewers and rating:


01.02.10    Alamo       5,554,000           5.6 

12.30.06    Alamo      5,521,000            6.0  

12.26.09    EMERALD    5,289,000         5.3

12.27.08    Champs      5,099,000         5.2

12.31.07    Chick-fil-A    4,919,000        5.1

12.28.05    Alamo        4,876,000          5.4

12.31.09    Chick-fil-A    4,852.000        4.9

12.30.05    Chick-fil-A    4,708,000        5.2

12.30.98     Holiday       4,557,000        6.0

12.29.05     Holiday       4,556,000        5.0

12.27.08     EMERALD     4,535,000       4.6


Doug Kelly

Emerald Bowl Media Services

916.649.0552 [office] 916.202.0552 [mobile/office]  or

Michael C. Humes

ESPN 860.766.2233 [office]