More than five million viewers had their eyes on the matchup between Florida and then-No. 11 Tennessee on Saturday night in The Swamp.
According to Sports Media Watch via Brett McMurphy on Tuesday, the game between the Vols and the Gators at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN drew 5.31 million viewers, which was good for the third-highest college football viewership on the Week 3 slate.
Colorado State at Colorado (10:00 p.m., ESPN) drew the highest viewership at 9.30 million viewers while South Carolina at Georgia (3:30 p.m., CBS) drew 5.42 million viewers.
Unlike the game between the Buffaloes and the Rams that had viewers hooked through two-o-clock in the morning with a close game in overtime, the matchup between Tennessee and Florida was a lopsided affair as the Gators won 29-16.
Tennessee dropped from No. 11 to No. 23 in the AP Top 25 poll on Monday while the Gators rose from unranked to No. 25 to cap off the list.
The game falls just under last season’s matchup between Tennessee and Florida in Knoxville, which was the most-watched game in the history of the rivalry. The 2022 matchup drew 5.571 million viewers in the mid-afternoon CBS slot on TV.
Tennessee was a massive viewership draw last season. The Vols averaged more than 8 million viewers for the Orange Bowl, more than 11 million viewers for the Alabama game, and more than 13 million viewers for the Georgia game.
Four of the Top 10 games from week three included at least one team from the Southeastern Conference:
- No. 2: South Carolina at Georgia – 5.42 million
- No. 3: Tennessee at Florida – 5.31 million
- No. 4: Alabama at USF – 4.84 million
- No. 8: LSU at Mississippi State – 2.80 million
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) September 19, 2023