Rocky Mountain Showdown breaks ESPN viewing records

DENVER (KDVR) — On Saturday, the University of Colorado Buffaloes and the Colorado State Rams made ESPN history as millions of viewers tuned in to watch the Rocky Mountain Showdown.

While the matchup is more of a local feud, the game, which kicked off after 10 p.m. on the East Coast, was ESPN’s most-watched late prime-time college football game on record.

Last year, the two teams, both with losing records, totaled four wins combined. This season, both participated in a matchup that amounted to ESPN’s most-streamed regular college football game of all time.

The game registered 9.3 million viewers, according to ESPN. Just before halftime at 11 p.m. ET, viewership peaked at 11.1 million people watching the two Colorado teams battle for the win.

The game went into the early morning hours on Sunday as Coloradans stayed up past midnight to watch the end, while East Coasters watched the game until 2:30 a.m. Eastern Time.

For two Colorado teams who haven’t had a winning season in the past few years, both had the nation’s attention. The game landed as ESPN’s 5th most-watched game on record for college football.

The local game led to a national phenomenon overnight. Some of this could be because of the Colorado feud or because of the “Prime Effect.”

Either way, popular celebrities, local fans and viewers nationwide stayed up until Sunday morning to watch the game’s thrilling end, which concluded in a double-overtime win for CU with a final score of 43-35.

ESPN and ABC named the Rocky Mountain Showdown the 4th best regular season game, excluding conference championships, in the last six years.

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