Jon Solomon of The Birmingham News took a look at the Nielsen ratings for this latest bowl season and found that the numbers took a hit from last season.
Bowl ratings were down nine percent, according to an analysis by The Birmingham News of Nielsen Media Research data. That includes an 11-percent drop for the national championship game, won in the last second by Auburn.
This should not be surprising news, and anyone who tries to spin it that way is a complete knucklehead. This was the first year that all but 3 bowls, including all 5 BCS bowls, were broadcast on cable on ESPN instead of on the broadcast networks. When you take the games off of broadcast television and move them to cable you are eliminating roughly 15 million homes that don't subscribe to cable so that is where the 9 percent drop comes into play, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
From the TCU perspective while this years Rose Bowl rating of 11.26 was down 15% from last years Oregon-Ohio State game(13.18), it was actually on par with the 08-09 USC-Penn State game(11.7) and the 07-08 USC-Illinois game (11.11), all of which were on broadcast tv in 15 million more homes. Check out this years ratings numbers after the jump, and click here to see the ratings for all the bowls dating back to 2002.