ESPN’s College Football Playoff Money Machine Is Just Getting Started

The network drew more than 120 million viewers under the new playoff format, at a cost of $5 per viewer

Offensive lineman Pat Elflein (No. 65) of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates after defeating the Oregon Ducks 42 to 20 in the College Football Playoff National Championship game at AT&T Stadium on Jan. 12, 2015, in Arlington, Texas.

Photographer: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Last night’s College Football Playoff National Championship drew 33.4 million viewers on ESPN. The audience for Ohio State’s victory over Oregon topped the network’s own record, set earlier this month by Ohio State’s semifinal win, to become the most-watched broadcast in the history of cable. The first year of the College Football Playoff system now accounts for the three biggest cable-TV audiences ever.

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