LSU Defeats Alabama

LSU senior quarterback Joe Burrow (9) and football coach Ed Orgeron celebrate after the Tigers' 46-41 victory over Alabama in Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019.

No. 2 LSU's 46-41 win over No. 3 Alabama was the Tigers' first win over the Tide since 2011. It was also the highest-rated and second most-watched regular season college football game since then.

"The Game of the Century II" averaged a 9.7 television rating and 16.64 million viewers for CBS on Saturday, according to Sports Media Watch. LSU's victory peaked around 6 p.m. with 20.61 million viewers. 

Excluding bowl games and conference championships, Saturday's game was the highest-rated college football game since LSU-Alabama in 2011, when the No. 1 Tigers defeated the No. 2 Tide 9-6. The 2011 matchup scored an 11.5 rating and averaged 20 million viewers. The 2019 LSU-Alabama showdown trailed only the 2016 Michigan-Ohio State rivalry game in average viewership (16.84 million), according to Sports Media Watch.

Ratings increased 47% and viewership increased 44% from last year's primetime game in Tiger Stadium. Compared to LSU's last trip to Tuscaloosa in 2017, ratings and viewership increased by 149% and 147%, respectively. CBS' contract stipulates only a single primetime game every season. The network selected to air Notre Dame-Georgia at night in September. 

Saturday was LSU's third game on CBS' afternoon timeslot this year. Auburn's visit to Death Valley in week nine netted at 4.3 rating and 7.18 million viewers, according to Sports Media Watch. The week before, LSU-Mississippi State earned a 2.4 rating and averaged 3.86 million viewers.

Other highly rated LSU games in 2019 include the Tigers' victories over Florida and Texas. LSU-Florida scored a 3.6 rating and 6.45 million viewers on ESPN. LSU visited Austin in week two for a game against Texas, averaging 5.0 rating and 8.63 million viewers on ABC, according to Sports Media Watch.

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