The Rose Bowl between Utah and Ohio State was a high-scoring instant classic that came down to the wire, with Buckeyes kicker Noah Ruggles giving Ohio State a 48-45 win with a 19-yard field goal.
The final TV numbers from the Rose Bowl game on ESPN are in, and it ranks as the most-viewed game in Utah football history.
16.6 million viewers tuned in to see the Utes and the Buckeyes battle, with a peak of 19.7 million viewers over the final minutes of the game.
VIEWERSHIP UPDATE: ESPN's presentation of #CFBPlayoff Semis & New Year's Six 15% over 2020— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) January 4, 2022
3 most-viewed games of 2021-22 season
Non-Semifinal NY6 bowls average 10.7M viewers, third-best non-Semifinal NY6 on record
Full details: https://t.co/UB1KrUPdue pic.twitter.com/T1Y5HAceBk
For reference, Utah’s win over Alabama in the 2009 Sugar Bowl on Fox drew 13.4 million viewers, and Utah’s win over Pittsburgh in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl on ABC drew 12.2 million viewers.
The 2022 Rose Bowl is tied for the second-most watched game of the 2021 college football season, trailing the Orange Bowl College Football Playoff semifinal — Georgia’s 34-11 win over Michigan, which drew 17.2 million viewers — and tied with the Cotton Bowl College Football Playoff semifinal — Alabama’s 27-6 win over Cincinnati.
2022 New Year’s Six TV ratings
Orange Bowl College Football Playoff semifinal (Georgia 34, Michigan 11) — 17.2 million.
Rose Bowl (Ohio State 48, Utah 45) — 16.6 million.
Cotton Bowl College Football Playoff semifinal (Alabama 27, Cincinnati 6) — 16.6 million.
Sugar Bowl (Baylor 21, Ole Miss 7) — 9.8 million.
Fiesta Bowl (Oklahoma State 37, Notre Dame 35) — 8 million.
Peach Bowl (Michigan State 31, Pittsburgh 21) — 7.6 million.