Fox claims most-watched college football season; IMG and Syracuse renew
US college sport - 30 Nov 2018
Fox Sports, the US network’s multi-platform sports subsidiary, has averaged viewership of 3.3 million for its coverage of college American football this season, heading into this weekend's Big Ten and Pac-12 conference championship games, meaning that 2018 is the most-watched college football regular season in Fox broadcast network history.
The average figure represents a 3-per-cent rise over last year, according to figures from Nielsen Media Research, while the average-minute audience for college football on Fox Sports streaming services is up by 33 per cent (16,000 in 2018 versus 12,000 in 2017).
Last weekend’s match between Ohio State and Michigan, in which the Buckeyes defeated the Wolverines, 62-39, to earn a spot in Saturday's Big Ten Championship Game, was the most-watched regular-season college football game in the network’s history, with an audience of 13.2 million.
• IMG College, the college sports arm of the international sports and entertainment agency, has renewed its partnership with Syracuse University Athletics in a “long-term” agreement for multimedia rights and licensing.
The partnership covers digital and social-media platforms, the Syracuse IMG radio network, game programmes, corporate hospitality events, promotional activities at athletics contests, and signage in all home venues.
John Wildhack, Syracuse’s director of athletics, said: “We are pleased to extend our long-standing partnership with IMG College. Working with IMG College provides opportunities to promote all of our teams and student-athletes and engage our many audiences on multiple platforms.
“The mutually-beneficial agreement gives Syracuse Athletics stability and security in the representation of our multimedia rights and licensing, which are two critical areas for our continued growth and success.”
Last month, the University of Connecticut renewed its multimedia rights and licensing agreements with IMG College for 15 more years.
Under the terms of the agreement, IMG will pay UConn, whose sports teams compete as the Huskies in the American Athletic Conference, a minimum of $96 million in royalties, including $6 million this academic year.
IMG College has marketing deals with around 90 US universities and college sports conferences.