Alabama’s rout of Ohio State on Monday night drew the smallest television audience for a college football national championship game in 23 years.

That includes the 16 years of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) and the first seven years of the College Football Playoff (CFP) and continues a trend of reduced viewership for most televised sports events since mid-2020.

ESPN’s coverage of Monday’s game drew an average of 18.7 million viewers, down 27% from 25.6 million for the previous season’s championship game between LSU and Clemson.

The lowest viewership for a BCS or CFP title game before Monday was 21.42 million for Southern California’s 55-19 win over Oklahoma in the BCS title game in the Orange Bowl at the end of the 2004 season, according to data compiled by the website Sports Media Watch. Each of the first six CFP title games had drawn audiences of more than 25 million viewers.

Still, despite the decline, this season’s CFP semifinals and championship game were the three most-viewed non-NFL sports events on television since last year’s CFP title game. Both of this season’s semifinals drew slightly larger audiences than the championship game, which Alabama won 52-24.

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