ATHENS — Georgia football remains one of the hottest commodities on television, and the CBS ratings from last Saturday’s SEC Championship Game back it up.
The Bulldogs Instant Classic against Alabama was the most-watched and highest-rated regular-season game on any network in the past seven years, per a CBS release.
The game drew a 10.1/23 rating share with 17.5 million viewers, ranking as the second most-watched SEC Championship Game in the 26 years since the game’s origin in 1992.
Atlanta was the No 2 market, trailing only Birmingham, Ala., with a 33.9 rating and 57 share.
That means 57 percent of the Atlanta market was watching television during the game, and of those TV sets that were turned on, 33.9 percent were watching Georgia football battle the Tide in a pulse-pounding 35-28 loss.
The Bulldogs outgained Alabama 453 yards to 403 and forced two Tide turnovers while not committing any themselves.
Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm was 25-of-39 passing for 301 yards with 3 touchdowns and no interceptions, outplaying Heisman Trophy favorite Tua Tagovailoa who was 10-of-25 passing for 164 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
But in a script better suited for a Walt Disney movie, backup Jalen Hurts came off the bench to rally Alabama from 28-21 down to the victory.
Here were the top five markets for the SEC Championship Game, per CBS:
1. Birmingham 56.7 rating, 74 share
2. Atlanta 33.9 rating, 57 share
3. Greenville-Spartanburg 25.2 rating, 39 share
4. Jacksonville 24.5 rating, 39 share
5. Knoxville 23.0 rating, 36 share
CBS reports that its streaming coverage of the SEC Championship Game drove record viewership for an SEC game on the network, with unique viewers up 71 percent, total streams up 67 percent and the time spent on site up 59 percent.
Georgia’s loss at LSU was another ratings Giant earlier this season, also the most-watched game of the day.
Atlanta was the No. 3 market in the nation that day (17.2/37), trailing only New Orleans (25.2/42) and Birmingham (22.9/35). Knoxville, TN., was the No. 4 market (13.8/24) followed by Jacksonville (13.6/23).
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