Typically, when a live sporting event draws a big audience on the Web, it’s either because most people are stuck at the office, or when fans are trying to catch a big out of market game not available on TV.
Saturday night”s game between Louisiana State University and the University of Alabama had neither factor going for it, as CBS aired the game nationally in prime time. Which is why the game’s streaming numbers are so impressive. According to CBS, 171,648 people streamed the game on CBSSports.com, while another 42,912 viewed the game via mobile devices (CBS did not reveal how many of those folks were men stuck at poorly timed weddings.)
TV executives constantly hammer home the point that putting their content on the Web won’t cannibalize their TV ratings. That more than proved true for LSU’s 9-6 victory over Alabama; the game between the previously top and second-ranked teams in the nation drew a massive 11.9 rating, per Nielsen, making it CBS’ second highest rated regular season college football game since 1987.
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