The Top 25 television markets for college football

ESPN’s public relations department has put out a release ranking the top 25 college football markets by viewership.

Alas, neither Lexington or Louisville made the list. Cincinnati did sneak in at No. 25.

Certainly no big surprise that Birmingham, Alabama is No. 1.

The top 25 college football markets for 2011:

  • No. 1 Birmingham: 5.9 rating
  • No. 2 Oklahoma City: 4.3 rating
  • No. 2 Columbus: 4.3 rating
  • No. 4 Greenville: 4.1 rating
  • No. 5 New Orleans: 3.4 rating
  • No. 5 Atlanta: 3.4 rating
  • No. 7 Jacksonville: 3.3 rating
  • No. 7 Tulsa: 3.3 rating
  • No. 9 Las Vegas: 3.2 rating
  • No. 10 Knoxville: 3.0 rating
  • No. 11 Dayton: 2.8 rating
  • No. 12 Greensboro: 2.7 rating
  • No. 12 Austin: 2.7 rating
  • No. 12 Charlotte: 2.7 rating
  • No. 12 Fort Myers: 2.7 rating
  • No. 16 Pittsburgh: 2.5 rating
  • No. 16 Nashville: 2.5 rating
  • No. 16 Norfolk: 2.5 rating
  • No. 16 Memphis: 2.5
  • No. 20 Cleveland: 2.4
  • No. 21 Orlando: 2.3
  • No. 22 Raleigh-Durham: 2.2
  • No. 22 West Palm Beach: 2.2
  • No. 22 Detroit: 2.2
  • No. 25 Cincinnati: 2.0
  • No. 25 Richmond: 2.0
  • No. 25 Portland 2.0
  • No. 25 Kansas City: 2.0
  • No. 25 Tampa-St. Petersburg: 2.0

Notes from ESPN:

Highlights from 2000-2011:

Top Two: Birmingham, Ala., and Columbus, Ohio, are the only markets to finish in the highest-rated spot as well as in the top five all 12 years:

Birmingham was the top-rated metered market every year except 2001 when Columbus knocked the Alabama city to second.

Columbus was the second highest-rated market in 2010, 2005, 2003 and 2000.

Six in Second: Six of the 56 markets have finished a season in the second highest-rated spot:

Knoxville, Tenn. in 2009, 2008, 2006, 2004 and 2002.

Columbus in 2011 (tied with Oklahoma City), 2010, 2005, 2003 and 2000 (tied with Nashville).

Birmingham in 2001, Nashville in 2000 (tied with Columbus), New Orleans in 2007 and Oklahoma City in 2011 (tied with Columbus).

Top Five Markets: Thirteen markets have been in the top five highest-rated at least once from 2000 to 2011.

Birmingham and Columbus are the only markets to go 12 for 12.

Atlanta and Greenville, S.C. each finished as a top five market for five years overall. Atlanta in 2011, 2005, 2002, 2001 and 2000 and Greenville in 2011, 2009, 2007, 2006 and 2005.

Knoxville was in the top five in eight years (2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003 and 2002). The home city of the Tennessee Volunteers wasn’t a metered market in 2000 or 2001, and finished 10th in 2011, and sixth in 2005.

New Orleans finished in the top five seven times (2011, 2010, 2009, 2007, 2004, 2001 and 2000; metered markets ratings were not available for New Orleans in 2005).

Jacksonville was a top-five market in 2010, 2008, 2005, 2004, 2002 and 2001.

Oklahoma City finished among the top five four times (2011, 2009, 2008 and 2003).

The Tennessee market of Memphis and Nashville each finished in the top five twice. Memphis in 2003 and 2000 and Nashville in 2006 and 2000.

Four markets finished in the top five once: Louisville in 2006, Norfolk in 2003 and Orlando in 2000.

Solid Debuts: Knoxville and Greenville each debuted as a metered market in 2002 to impressive finishes. Knoxville finished the season in second while Greenville finished in 12th.

Select Company in Top 10: Birmingham, Columbus and Jacksonville are the only markets to be among the top 10 every year since 2000. Other markets have impressive streaks as well:

Knoxville has finished in the top 10 every year since 2002 when it was first metered.

Atlanta has been a top 10 market every year except 2003.

Greenville has been in the top 10 every year since 2004.

Highlights of 2011:

Oklahoma Markets: Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma’s two metered markets, each reached their highest spot in 2011. Oklahoma City finished in second and Tulsa in seventh.

Partner Markets: Tulsa and Las Vegas finished 2011 among the top 10 for the first time, capturing seventh and ninth, respectively. The two markets also reached their previous highs together in 2009 when Tulsa was 11 and Las Vegas 13.

Cracking the Top Five: Atlanta finished 2011 as the fifth highest rated market (tied with New Orleans), the highest spot since 2005 (third).

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