Tennessee-N.C. State ranks as ESPNU's most-viewed college football game ever

Tennessee linebacker Herman Lathers (34) and Tennessee defensive back Brent Brewer (17) stop North Carolina State running back James Washington (24)during the Chick-Fil-A Kick Off Game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Friday, Aug. 31, 2012. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL STAFF)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Tennessee linebacker Herman Lathers (34) and Tennessee defensive back Brent Brewer (17) stop North Carolina State running back James Washington (24)during the Chick-Fil-A Kick Off Game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Friday, Aug. 31, 2012. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL STAFF)

Not only did Tennessee deliver a crucial win in its season-opener against N.C. State at the Georgia Dome last Friday, but the Vols were a hit in the ratings as well.

The game averaged 1,491,000 viewers (based on a 1.3 average rating and 945,000 households) and now stands as ESPNU's most-viewed college football game ever.

Behind 524 total yards of offense, UT rolled to a 35-21 victory in Atlanta.

Vanderbilt's loss to South Carolina in ESPN's season-opening game Thursday delivered 4,129,000 viewers (a 3.0 rating, 2,944,000 households) for the network's second-largest season-opening telecast in history.

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Comments » 53

Vol_in_Mich writes:

Who would have thunk it.
GBO

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

I hope this doesn't mean that more UT games will be shown on ESPNU. I had to watch it on a tiny laptop. Takes a little out of the experience.

Orangepuddinskin writes:

WOW! That would explain all of the empty seats I saw while I was at the Dome, everyone was at home watching the game. The Vol Nation is everywhere.

48orangenation48 writes:

in response to civilianvol_formerly_marinevol:

I hope this doesn't mean that more UT games will be shown on ESPNU. I had to watch it on a tiny laptop. Takes a little out of the experience.

if you have comcast you can upgrade to a sports package (about 10 more channels i think) for ten dollars more per month. it is definitely worth it. espnu included.

FWBVol writes:

ESPNU has a smaller footprint than ESPN or ESPN2 so I have to believe the viewing audience would have been larger if the game had been available to more fans. Still, it is a nice way to start the season with a win on the field and on the air.

jcherrie#219531 (Inactive) writes:

If "The game averaged 1,491,000 viewers...." and "Vanderbilt's loss ... delivered 4,129,000 viewers"

So fewer viewers makes it more watched?

Uh huh.

BrassMonkey writes:

Well Vandy and USC only had 3 times the viewers we did. Now let's brag about having as many viewers as a Heartland Series re run.

TheRealDragonSlayer writes:

in response to jcherrie#219531:

If "The game averaged 1,491,000 viewers...." and "Vanderbilt's loss ... delivered 4,129,000 viewers"

So fewer viewers makes it more watched?

Uh huh.

The UT game was on ESPNU...NOT on ESPN. The Vanderbilt game was on ESPN, and for the game to be on the main ESPN channel, 4.1 million viewers is not at all a big deal. But for ESPNU, which is a fledgeling chanel and usually unavailable with basic packages, almost 1.5 million viewers is a BIG deal. And yes, it is MORE viewers than ever before for a game on ESPNU.

ESPNU has only existed for 7 or 8 years now.

It absolutely is a GREAT thing that so many people watched our game...especially since we played so well. It will garner well for our chances to be noticed more and more. A lot of ESPN analysts got to watch it too, and they were able to comment on it first hand, instead of just reading the stat line.

BigBadVol writes:

in response to BrassMonkey:

Well Vandy and USC only had 3 times the viewers we did. Now let's brag about having as many viewers as a Heartland Series re run.

Your statement is idiotic. Are you really that dumb? Talk about a major fail on the trolling aspect of posting.

TheRealDragonSlayer writes:

And another thing. I heard ESPN analysts on several different shows describing Tyler Bray as an "elite" prospect for the NFL.

If he has a few more of these 300 yard, multiple TD games, his name will be on every top-5 Heisman contender list.

VFL70 writes:

SEC baby!!!!!!!!!

BeRealistic writes:

A good running game will help Bray tremendously.

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to TheRealDragonSlayer:

And another thing. I heard ESPN analysts on several different shows describing Tyler Bray as an "elite" prospect for the NFL.

If he has a few more of these 300 yard, multiple TD games, his name will be on every top-5 Heisman contender list.

After his first big SEC win then maybe some hype. Right now I want to see him lead this team in beating a top 20 opponent. We are still waiting for that. A good start would be Florida.

jcherrie#219531 (Inactive) writes:

in response to TheRealDragonSlayer:

The UT game was on ESPNU...NOT on ESPN. The Vanderbilt game was on ESPN, and for the game to be on the main ESPN channel, 4.1 million viewers is not at all a big deal. But for ESPNU, which is a fledgeling chanel and usually unavailable with basic packages, almost 1.5 million viewers is a BIG deal. And yes, it is MORE viewers than ever before for a game on ESPNU.

ESPNU has only existed for 7 or 8 years now.

It absolutely is a GREAT thing that so many people watched our game...especially since we played so well. It will garner well for our chances to be noticed more and more. A lot of ESPN analysts got to watch it too, and they were able to comment on it first hand, instead of just reading the stat line.

Got it thanks,I watched it on ESPN3 it plays great on HD on X-box

anythinGOrange writes:

That can't be right. I played it on 4 separate TVs!

VolBall18 writes:

That's great news for UT. Any positive T.V. ratings for the Vols is a big step in the right direction. They looked great for the most part but the defense has a little more work to do. SEC teams have a better running game than NC State. That being said, they look like they're on the right path. They showed a lot more confidence Friday that they haven't showed in a while. And PATTERSON!! WHEW!! HE'S A BALLER!! GBO

GreerVol22 writes:

I hate to say it but I stayed home and watched it with 10 people, had my own bathroom, concession stand, and deluxe fat-man-lazy-boy seating accomodations...all in 55 glorious inches of HD. Did I mentioned my hotel was about 30 feet away and even had free covered parking and internet access for tweeting.

Still wish I had been able to go...go figure.

tennrich1 writes:

in response to TheRealDragonSlayer:

And another thing. I heard ESPN analysts on several different shows describing Tyler Bray as an "elite" prospect for the NFL.

If he has a few more of these 300 yard, multiple TD games, his name will be on every top-5 Heisman contender list.

Actually Tyler Bray has been mentioned by more than one NFL draft expert as possibly being the number one QB taken this year...now, before anyone starts throwing darts at me I didnt say I agreed with that...just reporting what some have said...I just hope he has a season where he can consider going early...that would mean we probably had a great year....and I think we'll be just fine at the QB spot for several years to come...

VolBall18 writes:

in response to tennrich1:

Actually Tyler Bray has been mentioned by more than one NFL draft expert as possibly being the number one QB taken this year...now, before anyone starts throwing darts at me I didnt say I agreed with that...just reporting what some have said...I just hope he has a season where he can consider going early...that would mean we probably had a great year....and I think we'll be just fine at the QB spot for several years to come...

Or even better, do like Peyton and have two more great years at UT. Learn from the best to become the best.

mancell1871 writes:

in response to GreerVol22:

I hate to say it but I stayed home and watched it with 10 people, had my own bathroom, concession stand, and deluxe fat-man-lazy-boy seating accomodations...all in 55 glorious inches of HD. Did I mentioned my hotel was about 30 feet away and even had free covered parking and internet access for tweeting.

Still wish I had been able to go...go figure.

I had all that plus a sexy hot waitress(my wife) who slept with me after the game was over. And I still wish I would've went.

givehim6 writes:

in response to BrassMonkey:

Well Vandy and USC only had 3 times the viewers we did. Now let's brag about having as many viewers as a Heartland Series re run.

I've been wondering, what are people like you going to do when the Vols start winning this year and you can't rage on the Vols and Dooley? Man going to have to come up out of that rock and get a real life hu?

utdanman writes:

in response to VolBall18:

Or even better, do like Peyton and have two more great years at UT. Learn from the best to become the best.

I really don't think Bray is in a position to leave early for the NFL. He might get the chance but I just think it would be a mistake. He hasn't even completed a full season yet. I think we are going to have to win the sec east, have a very strong showing or win the sec championship game and he's going to have to be a top heisman finalist for him to leave.

I'm a huge Bray fan but I just don't think he's ready for the next level just yet. And the trend has been for QBs to stay all 4 years. IE. Luck, Barkley

VolzsFan writes:

The next good win vs. a good team that Brey beats will be his first. He is Mr. AntiOctober. He generally takes that month off.
The directional schools will be in the rear view on Saturday. The University of's are on deck. Maybe he can play a couple of SEC schools and not hurt is "feeney". When you look at his stats vs the dogs on the schedule and vs. the good teams, you see a very big difference. Yes, NC State is a dog as is UC.. but they are his best wins.

BrassMonkey writes:

in response to givehim6:

I've been wondering, what are people like you going to do when the Vols start winning this year and you can't rage on the Vols and Dooley? Man going to have to come up out of that rock and get a real life hu?

and what will sunshine pumpers like you do when they start losing again? We need to sell tickets instead of having 1.4 million tune in. Dooley has turned this stadium filling, profit producing program into a money losing mouse. At the beginning of every season our unrealistic fan base claims 11-1, 10-2, 9-3 is going to happen. It has not yet and our coach has never proven he is capable of achieving this. When he does, I will eat crow. Until then, you will.

voloffaith writes:

in response to BigBadVol:

Your statement is idiotic. Are you really that dumb? Talk about a major fail on the trolling aspect of posting.

If you are new to this site the munkee is anti/negative/trollodyte like etc. He shows his limitations when trying to ESPN to ESPNU viewer ratings

orangecountyvols writes:

Brass Idiot,

Make up your mind. One of your anti Tennessee posts says the usual "we, us, our," etc, then your more familiar troll/post goes back to the recognizable "your, you, they" etc.

This is characteristic of troll/bandwagon individuals.

voloffaith writes:

in response to voloffaith:

If you are new to this site the munkee is anti/negative/trollodyte like etc. He shows his limitations when trying to ESPN to ESPNU viewer ratings

Hey vol4 you missed the word compare between to and ESPN. just looking out fer ya bro....

lemme_axya_this writes:

in response to tennrich1:

Actually Tyler Bray has been mentioned by more than one NFL draft expert as possibly being the number one QB taken this year...now, before anyone starts throwing darts at me I didnt say I agreed with that...just reporting what some have said...I just hope he has a season where he can consider going early...that would mean we probably had a great year....and I think we'll be just fine at the QB spot for several years to come...

I wouldn't be surprised if Bray turned out to be a better pro than Matt Barkley. Barkley seems to have the skill set to be really good at the next level, but that's what they said about Matt Leinart, Mark Sanchez, Carson Palmer, Todd Marinovich, and Rodney Peete. Peete and Palmer(before knee injury) each had some success, but never lived up to the hype.

utvolntrs writes:

I hope this season turns out to be as good as I think it should be. The last 4-5 years I have been overly optimistic. My blood runs Orange and I want to get back to the days when you lost one or two games it was a horrible season. Those were the days when we expected to win we didnt hope for it. I want those days back and I think Dooley can get us there. I thought the defense tackled and wrapped up the best I have seen in a long time. I want to go 10-2 this season. I have a good feeling we can do it, but I am biased and I always think we can win ten games. GO BIG ORANGE!!!! 'Down The Field'

AncientVolFan writes:

in response to jcherrie#219531:

If "The game averaged 1,491,000 viewers...." and "Vanderbilt's loss ... delivered 4,129,000 viewers"

So fewer viewers makes it more watched?

Uh huh.

Apples and oranges. UT was ESPNU's biggest. Vandy was ESPN not ESPNU and ESPN's 2nd biggest opening. I thought the same thing at first.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to TheRealDragonSlayer:

The UT game was on ESPNU...NOT on ESPN. The Vanderbilt game was on ESPN, and for the game to be on the main ESPN channel, 4.1 million viewers is not at all a big deal. But for ESPNU, which is a fledgeling chanel and usually unavailable with basic packages, almost 1.5 million viewers is a BIG deal. And yes, it is MORE viewers than ever before for a game on ESPNU.

ESPNU has only existed for 7 or 8 years now.

It absolutely is a GREAT thing that so many people watched our game...especially since we played so well. It will garner well for our chances to be noticed more and more. A lot of ESPN analysts got to watch it too, and they were able to comment on it first hand, instead of just reading the stat line.

It was blacked out for most viewers. The whole mid to east side of the country was blacked out for watching on Espn3 or any other that showed it in past. ESPdarNU is no longer available as last year. You have to pay something extra for a lower quality and mostly computer audience. I personally won't pay extra for a channel that should be free via commercials(any cable). thbbbzt and etc. But I will get it free on radio utsports w/o little commercials interrupting the espndarnu screen during the action!!.(pet peeve)

Oh and I agree that it was actually great for UT to have that many viewers. Just think how many would have watched if they could.

voloffaith writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

The next good win vs. a good team that Brey beats will be his first. He is Mr. AntiOctober. He generally takes that month off.
The directional schools will be in the rear view on Saturday. The University of's are on deck. Maybe he can play a couple of SEC schools and not hurt is "feeney". When you look at his stats vs the dogs on the schedule and vs. the good teams, you see a very big difference. Yes, NC State is a dog as is UC.. but they are his best wins.

Brey = Bray

burpee_von_rotweiler_IV writes:

Quoting the GEICO antique roadshow commercial lady: "REEAALLLLLY!!! UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!

volvann writes:

in response to Icthus:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That's because CBS still has a love-affair with Florida (holdover from the Tebow lovefest) and they could not possibly handle watching the Vols beat Florida. So there is your answer, since they know it is going to be a Florida loss, CBS had to break the tie to the 3:30 game.

Also, when they need filler, they cannot show Muschamp's 'deer in the headlights' stare. Not good for ratings. They need good visor throws like the South Carolina head coach, whatever his name is....

Section A, Row 43, Seats 28-29, the hottie next to me is my wife...

volfaninutah writes:

in response to Orangepuddinskin:

WOW! That would explain all of the empty seats I saw while I was at the Dome, everyone was at home watching the game. The Vol Nation is everywhere.

Puddin.. it sure was nice to see it on my big screen out in Utah. I hope it is an omen of more games in the near future against bigger opponents.

BigOrangeFever76 (Inactive) writes:

in response to BrassMonkey:

Well Vandy and USC only had 3 times the viewers we did. Now let's brag about having as many viewers as a Heartland Series re run.

Why did you use "we"? You ain't one of us brASS Monkey.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Not trying to say anything negative, but Vandy should never have more viewers than UT..Just sayin' and GBO!!

VolinCalif writes:

in response to jobrando#216494:

After his first big SEC win then maybe some hype. Right now I want to see him lead this team in beating a top 20 opponent. We are still waiting for that. A good start would be Florida.

Sorry Jo but Fl isn't a top 20 team. But just for old times sakes we will beat the poo out of them.
Vols 10-2 plus a bowl
Vols 41 Fl 17

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to BigOrangeFever76:

Why did you use "we"? You ain't one of us brASS Monkey.

Fever 76,

Exactly, friend. The Brass whatever, and the other troll, Volszfan are just that.............trolls. Wonder what else they do for kicks when they aren't making a nuisance of themselves here?

I'll say this, we do know who the trolls here happen to be, and we don't have any compassion nor any sympathy for them.

VolinCalif writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

The next good win vs. a good team that Brey beats will be his first. He is Mr. AntiOctober. He generally takes that month off.
The directional schools will be in the rear view on Saturday. The University of's are on deck. Maybe he can play a couple of SEC schools and not hurt is "feeney". When you look at his stats vs the dogs on the schedule and vs. the good teams, you see a very big difference. Yes, NC State is a dog as is UC.. but they are his best wins.

Speaking of Dog's

voloffaith writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

Fever 76,

Exactly, friend. The Brass whatever, and the other troll, Volszfan are just that.............trolls. Wonder what else they do for kicks when they aren't making a nuisance of themselves here?

I'll say this, we do know who the trolls here happen to be, and we don't have any compassion nor any sympathy for them.

Yes we agree we don't appreciate their coming on the site and spewing their stuff...however I do feel sympathy for those who are so sadly captivated by things so insignificant.... maening in the big picture being a Vol or chomper or elephant is of no standing determining where eternity is spent....

voloffaith writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Yes we agree we don't appreciate their coming on the site and spewing their stuff...however I do feel sympathy for those who are so sadly captivated by things so insignificant.... maening in the big picture being a Vol or chomper or elephant is of no standing determining where eternity is spent....

maening = southern version of meaning

Hound_Dog69 writes:

in response to jcherrie#219531:

If "The game averaged 1,491,000 viewers...." and "Vanderbilt's loss ... delivered 4,129,000 viewers"

So fewer viewers makes it more watched?

Uh huh.

Usc-Vandy ESPN, UT - NCS ESPNU. Headline "Tennessee-N.C. State ranks as ESPNU's most-viewed college football game ever. Put the pipe down and I'm sure you will figuar it out, maybe.

clvolfan writes:

Well whoopy-$amn-doo,might just make prime time Saturday's next time.Thankful they finally had in HD.
Wa-da-go ESPN,now give us some respect.

Olddogsrule writes:

in response to AncientVolFan:

Apples and oranges. UT was ESPNU's biggest. Vandy was ESPN not ESPNU and ESPN's 2nd biggest opening. I thought the same thing at first.

Buy 'em books, send 'em to school, and what do they do? heh heh

givehim6 writes:

in response to BrassMonkey:

and what will sunshine pumpers like you do when they start losing again? We need to sell tickets instead of having 1.4 million tune in. Dooley has turned this stadium filling, profit producing program into a money losing mouse. At the beginning of every season our unrealistic fan base claims 11-1, 10-2, 9-3 is going to happen. It has not yet and our coach has never proven he is capable of achieving this. When he does, I will eat crow. Until then, you will.

Just what the true Vol fan has done for years rain or shine, support our team! Some posser fans jump on the Vol train in August predict the 10-2, 9-3, or better. But let a few get hurt or UT goes up aginst a few strong teams, there the first to jump ship. I make no predictions other than think this will be a good year for the Vols and think we will make it to a good bowl! But I'll be here rain or shine! I do nothing to eat crow, but the Vols win big I'll mix my crow with some real OJ!

Olddogsrule writes:

The Vols are still in just the third year of rebuilding. We don't yet have conference leading game experience on the depth chart. WE don't yet have a "winning tradition" among the experienced players where they actually expect to be able to win every game. We don't yet have a staff with a couple of seasons together to really know how they work with each other and combine to get the best they can out of each athlete. We've won 1 game against a mid level ACC team, and after the way we beat them, they may not really be that. I'm not trying to be a debbie downer, we have to keep our observations and expectations real. What we did see was enough to get everyone fired up and that is good. We also saw some missed assignments, dropped balls, missed tackles, etc. and so on. The coaches saw all that too and are working to fix the problems. How well the coaching sticks in game situations is why they play the games. Look back on what we were saying two weeks ago before NC State. I'm sticking to my 7 wins is good enough for grins, 8 would be great. All the 10 and 11 game talk is setting yourself up for frowns. But if the Vols should achieve 9 or 10 wins, I'll be grinning all off-season and wishing I could have season tickets in the dry in section U for nesxt year! Need recipes for gator tail! Backed, grilled, southern fried, or whatever. Also need side dishes to go with it. (openin' up a can o' whupasz on FLA don't count- but would be good)
GO VOLS GO DOOLEY GO SEC

Richmonds_Wannabe_Brother writes:

in response to VolzsFan:

The next good win vs. a good team that Brey beats will be his first. He is Mr. AntiOctober. He generally takes that month off.
The directional schools will be in the rear view on Saturday. The University of's are on deck. Maybe he can play a couple of SEC schools and not hurt is "feeney". When you look at his stats vs the dogs on the schedule and vs. the good teams, you see a very big difference. Yes, NC State is a dog as is UC.. but they are his best wins.

Stupid is as Stupid posts.

SouthPaVol writes:

in response to TheRealDragonSlayer:

The UT game was on ESPNU...NOT on ESPN. The Vanderbilt game was on ESPN, and for the game to be on the main ESPN channel, 4.1 million viewers is not at all a big deal. But for ESPNU, which is a fledgeling chanel and usually unavailable with basic packages, almost 1.5 million viewers is a BIG deal. And yes, it is MORE viewers than ever before for a game on ESPNU.

ESPNU has only existed for 7 or 8 years now.

It absolutely is a GREAT thing that so many people watched our game...especially since we played so well. It will garner well for our chances to be noticed more and more. A lot of ESPN analysts got to watch it too, and they were able to comment on it first hand, instead of just reading the stat line.

good post. Playing an other-than-Saturday game is good business. Although the Vols don't do it very often--haven't had to--playing on Thursday and Friday night is effective school marketing. Some of the mid-west schools used this effectively over the last 8-10 years because they couldn't get air play otherwise; Boise State comes to mind. Now several are getting pulled into major conferences and playing prime-time games.

Orangepuddinskin writes:

in response to volfaninutah:

Puddin.. it sure was nice to see it on my big screen out in Utah. I hope it is an omen of more games in the near future against bigger opponents.

And that is why I pay extra to get ESPNU through Dish. I live in Middle Georgia and can't make it up to Knoxville as often as I would like. The extra sports packages are not a luxury, but a requirement to a true Vols fan that doesnt live in Knoxville. Stand proud and tall out in Utah, it is going to be a great year. GBO!

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