We’ve been hearing it ever since it happened — despite a heartbreaking three-point loss, Penn State’s clash against USC was arguably the greatest Rose Bowl Game in history. Better yet, there are numbers to back it up. This year’s Rose Bowl was the best overnight and most streamed non-semifinal New Year’s Six game ever played.
The game generated a noteworthy 9.4 rating on ESPN, a 19 percent increase from last year’s Rose Bowl game when Iowa played Stanford. Online streaming rates also rose considerably from last year — the number of unique viewers increased by 64 percent, average audience per minute increased by 68 percent, and total minutes watched increased by an astounding 102 percent. In total, there were 1,103,000 audience members streaming the game online. Not surprisingly, the number of viewers reached its peak right as we all bit bit our nails and crossed our fingers during the final two minutes of the game.
Though audience members tuned into the match from all over the country, Philadelphia set a local record in terms of ratings. The city earned a whopping 16.7 rating, which is the highest for any bowl game shown on ESPN (including past championship games).
So at the end of the day, what do all of these numbers mean? They mean that an astounding number of people paid close attention to this game. They mean that the 2017 Rose Bowl was so much bigger than just a bowl game. And most importantly, they mean that Penn State football is back and the entire country is waiting to see what it does next.