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McFeely blog: NDSU-Montana State title game draws 1.322 million TV viewers

Figure puts it in the top 10 of most-watched nationally televised games played by the Bison.

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North Dakota State head coach Matt Entz lifts the trophy after the 38-10 win over Montana State in the FCS title game at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022.
David Samson / The Forum

FARGO — North Dakota State's rout of Montana State in the Football Championship Subdivision title game Saturday drew an average of 1.322 million viewers on ESPN2, putting it in the top 10 of most-watched nationally televised games played by the Bison.

Those figures are courtesy of the website showbuzzdaily.com.

NDSU beat the Bobcats 38-10 in the championship game at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.

NDSU's highest-rated nationally televised game was the title game following the 2019 season, when the Bison's 28-20 victory over James Madison drew an average audience of 2.686 million on ABC.

Television viewership is often driven by what network carries a game. ABC is available in many more U.S. households than ESPN2.

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After the 2019 title game on ABC, the next five most-watched NDSU games were quarterfinal playoff contests on ESPN, which is carried in more households than ESPN2.

NDSU's 27-3 win over East Tennessee State in this season's quarterfinals drew an average audience of 1.177 million on ESPN. The Bison's 20-14 semifinal victory over James Madison had an average viewership of 1.145 million.

Here are some of the top TV numbers from Nielsen ratings for Bison football games, according to showbuzzdaily.com :

  • NDSU vs. James Madison in FCS title game on ABC in Jan. 2020, averaged 2.686 million viewers.
  • NDSU vs. South Dakota State in FCS quarterfinals on ESPN in Dec. 2016 averaged 1.984 million viewers.
  • NDSU vs. Colgate in FCS quarterfinals on ESPN in Dec. 2018 1.806 million.
  • NDSU vs. Illinois State in FCS quarterfinals on ESPN in Dec. 2019, 1.783 million.
  • NDSU vs. East Tennessee State in FCS quarterfinals on ESPN in Dec. 2021, 1.771 million.
  • NDSU vs. Northern Iowa in FCS quarterfinals on ESPN in Dec. 2015, 1.644 million.
  • NDSU vs. James Madison in FCS title game on ESPN2 in Jan. 2018, 1.515 million.
  • NDSU vs. Illinois State in FCS title game on ESPN2 in Jan. 2015, 1.44 million.
  • NDSU vs. Jacksonville State in FCS title game on ESPN2 in Jan. 2016, 1.35 million.
  • NDSU vs. Montana State in FCS title game on ESPN in Jan. 2022, 1.322 million.
  • NDSU vs. Towson in FCS title game on ESPN2 in Jan. 2014, 1.2 million.
  • NDSU vs. James Madison in FCS semifinals on ESPN2 in Jan. 2022, 1.145 million.
  • NDSU vs. Sam Houston in FCS title game on ESPN2 in Jan. 2013, 1.1 million.
  • NDSU vs. Montana in FCS Kickoff game on ESPN in Aug. 2015, 981,000.
  • NDSU vs. Iowa on ESPN2 in Sept. 2016, 968,000.
  • NDSU vs. Wofford in FCS quarterfinals on ESPN2 in Dec. 2017, 849,000.
  • NDSU vs. SDSU in FCS semifinals on ESPN2 in Dec. 2018, 846,000.
  • NDSU vs. Charleston Southern on ESPN in FCS Kickoff game in Aug. 2016, 797,000.
  • NDSU vs. Sam Houston State on ESPN2 in FCS semifinals in Dec. 2017, 604,000.
  • NDSU vs. Kansas State in Aug. 2013 on Fox Sports 1, 585,000.
  • NDSU vs. Montana State in FCS semifinals on ESPN2 in Dec. 2019, 518,000.
  • NDSU vs. Sam Houston in FCS quarterfinals on ESPN in May 2021, 328,000.

No figures were available for NDSU's first championship, which came against Sam Houston State in January 2012.

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