FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 4th, 2023
B1G SATURDAY NIGHT OPENER ON NBC AND PEACOCK RANKS AS NBC’s SECOND-MOST WATCHED LABOR DAY SATURDAY PRIMETIME SHOW SINCE 2015
Saturday’s Peacock Exclusive Game, No. 2 Michigan’s 30-3 Victory Over East Carolina, is Most-Streamed College Football Game in NBC Sports History
No. 7 Penn State’s 23-Point Win Over West Virginia Peaked at 4.4 Million Viewers From 8:45-9p.m. ET during Tight Second Quarter
B1G Saturday Night Opener is NBC Sports’ Most Watched Primetime College Football Game Featuring Only One Ranked Team Since 2015
STAMFORD, Conn. – Sept. 4, 2023 – NBC Sports kicked off its new Big Ten partnership last Saturday on NBC and Peacock with two of college football’s top seven teams – Associated Press’ No. 2 Michigan and No. 7 Penn State – securing double-digit home victories against non-conference opponents.
Mike Tirico and Chris Simms opened the afternoon at Noon ET exclusively on Peacock, from the booth at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, where more than 100,000 fans were in attendance for the Wolverines’ season opener against East Carolina.
“Good afternoon and welcome to Big Ten Football on Peacock, and welcome to one of the great sports settings in America — Michigan Stadium on a college football Saturday. Here from the Big House, it’s East Carolina visiting No. 2 Michigan,” Tirico said.
“A great place to be for the first Saturday in college football and a great place to be for the first day of a new era,” he continued. “On behalf of all of us at NBC Sports, so pleased to welcome you to the Big Ten on the platforms of NBC Sports. B1G Saturday Night will be a part of your Saturday night college football for the next seven years, and exclusive games on Peacock like this one that will continue on into basketball season as well.”
The Peacock-exclusive game that Tirico and Simms called on Saturday – Michigan’s 30-3 victory over East Carolina – is the most-streamed college football game in NBC Sports’ history.
On Saturday night, NBC Sports kicked off its new B1G Saturday Night franchise with Penn State hosting West Virginia at Beaver Stadium. NBC Sports’ B1G College Countdown studio show also made its on-campus debut at Penn State, providing reports throughout NBC Sports’ college football day.
Among the viewership highlights from NBC Sports’ opening weekend of Big Ten Football:
- No. 7 Penn State’s 38-15 B1G Saturday Night victory over West Virginia averaged 3.7 million viewers across NBC, Peacock and NBC Sports Digital, ranking as the second most watched Labor Day Saturday primetime show on NBC since 2015, trailing only No. 12 Notre Dame’s seven-point victory against No. 14 Michigan in 2018 (7.2 million viewers on 9/1/18).
- Viewership for West Virginia-Penn State peaked at 4.4 million from 8:45-9 p.m. ET during the second quarter, when the teams were within one score.
- Saturday night’s matchup was also NBC Sports’ most-watched primetime college football game featuring only one ranked team since 2015 (No. 14 Notre Dame’s fourth-quarter, come-from-behind victory against USC, 10/17/15).
NBC Sports’ Big Ten Football package features B1G Saturday Night on NBC and Peacock – marking the first time ever that Big Ten Football will have a dedicated weekly primetime game on a national broadcast network – and nine exclusive games on Peacock. These exclusive games join Peacock’s expansive programming which offers the most live sports of any streamer in the United States, featuring live coverage including Big Ten Football, Sunday Night Football, Notre Dame Football, Olympic Games, Premier League, NASCAR, NTT IndyCar Series, and much more. Peacock also offers daily sports programming on the NBC Sports channel.
In addition to its Big Ten coverage and as part of NBC Sports’ first-ever college football tripleheader, Notre Dame defeated Tennessee State 56-3 at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock.