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College Football Playoff championship game highest rated cable TV show ever

Ohio State players celebrate after the NCAA college

Ohio State players celebrate after the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Oregon Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. Ohio State won 42-20. Photo Credit: AP

Ohio State's victory over Oregon on Monday night averaged 33.4 million viewers and 18.2 percent of homes on ESPN, making the inaugural College Football Playoff championship game the most-viewed and highest-rated show in cable television history.

The previous mark was set Jan. 1, when 28.3 million watched Ohio State upset Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. No. 3 on the list at 28.2 million is Oregon's victory over Florida State in the Rose Bowl, also on Jan. 1.

Before this month, the most-viewed cable telecast had been the 2011 BCS final between Oregon and Auburn, at 27.3 million.

Despite the cable TV mark, ESPN's telecast fell short of the most-viewed championship game from the BCS era - Texas' victory over Southern Cal in the 2006 Rose Bowl, which averaged 35.6 million.

The highest-rated market for the game was Columbus, home of Ohio State, with 51.2 percent of homes. New York finished 54th out of 56 measured markets at 11.0. That was the market's highest rating ever for a postseason college game on ESPN. Providence was last with a 9.3. Hartford was 55th, perhaps because so many ESPN employees were in Texas for the game rather than watching at himes in the Bristol, Connecticut, area.

ESPN carried alternate ways to watch the game on several other platforms, such as current coaches breaking down the game strategically in real time on ESPN2. Including those "Megacast" shows, total viewership Monday night was 34.1 million.

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