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Tennessee-Alabama Draws Nearly 17 Million, Biggest CBS Viewership Since 2019

Tennessee Alabama
Photo By Kate Luffman/Tennessee Athletics

The game between Tennessee and Alabama on Saturday night in Knoxville delivered some absolutely mind-numbing numbers for CBS.

According to CBS Sports public relations, the game between the Vols and Crimson Tide was the “most-watched Alabama-Tennessee game on record with 11.557 million viewers.”

The game between the two long-time SEC rivals even peaked at nearly 17 million viewers, making it the most watched college football regular-season game on CBS since the 2019 meeting between LSU and Alabama.

It wasn’t just regular television, either. In the modern world of streaming, CBS also drew a new record-high on Paramount+ since that same 2019 game between the Tigers and Tide.

Here are the notes from CBS Sports’ PR release:

  • “Tennessee’s 52-49 victory over Alabama on Saturday scored as the most-watched Alabama-Tennessee game on record (since 1987) and the most-watched game of the season on any network, averaging 11.557 million viewers and up +145% vs. last year’s meeting.
  • The game peaked with nearly 17 million viewers and is the most-watched regular-season game on CBS in three years since LSU-Alabama in 2019 (16.712 million viewers).

  • Led by its 3:30 PM, ET Saturday afternoon window, CBS Sports has recorded the most-watched college football game for five consecutive weeks, accomplishing the feat for the first time in nine years.

  • Paramount+ delivered its most-streamed college football regular-season game in three years since LSU-Alabama.”

More from RTI: ESPN Predicts Playoff and Sugar Bowl Possibilities for Tennessee Football

There seems to be a direct correlation between Tennessee’s success on the field and television viewership.

CBS also had the Tennessee-Florida game in late September. After that game was played, CBS announced that it was the most-watched Tennessee-Florida game in 13 years with an average of 5.571 million viewers throughout the game.

Additionally, the week two matchup between Tennessee and Pittsburgh was also a big-time draw as the Vols were starting to emerge, drawing 4.5 million viewers on the ESPN/ABC networks.

While those are both incredibly impressive and record-setting in their own rights, it also really puts into perspective just how massive of a number that Tennessee and Alabama drew in their instant classic from Knoxville on Saturday night.

When thinking about 17 million people tuning into the game, it’s not hard to imagine how many different types of groups that encapsulates. Drawing something like 4 million or 6 million shows that you captured the attention of the college football world. But drawing nearly 17 million? That’s capturing the attention of the whole sports world.

That captures college football fans, NFL fans, fans of other sports, and non-sports fans alike. But, most importantly for Tennessee, that massive number has to include potential recruits and prospects as well. While Tennessee did host an extremely large amount of recruits for the game on Saturday, the Vols’ product was still the hottest thing of the day and was watched by a massive amount of people around the country.

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