Utah, USC Break Pac-12 Championship Viewership Records

Dec 5, 2022, 5:38 PM
Fireworks explode as the American national anthem is performed before the Pac-12 Conference championship game between the Utah Utes and the Oregon Ducks at Allegiant Stadium on December 3, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Utes defeated the Ducks 38-10. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY- Utah versus USC set a new viewership record for the Pac-12 Championship Game Friday night in Las Vegas. The two schools clashed at Allegiant Stadium, leaving it all out on the field, but the Utes came out the victors in a 47-24 blowout that had significant College Football Playoff implications.

According to the Fox Sports PR Twitter account, the game scored 6,234,000 viewers last week which was the most-watched Pac-12 CCG since its inception in 2011.

Fox also revealed the game was up +45% from last year’s game featuring Utah and Oregon.

Explaining The Rise In Interest For The Pac-12 Championship Game

As mentioned above, there were some serious College Football Playoff implications riding on Utah versus USC Friday night. At the time, the Trojans were ranked No. 4 in the country with many pundits believing it was a foregone conclusion that USC was in.

With teams like Ohio State and Alabama sitting on the outside looking in, it makes sense to believe those fans were tuning in on the off-chance Utah pulled off the upset opening the door for them to possibly take the fourth spot in the playoff. It also makes sense that some of these fans most likely started tuning in more as the game went on and it became clear the Utes were going to knock USC out of the Playoffs.

From Washington’s perspective, a Rose Bowl berth was on the line and something they would be monitoring closely. If USC won, the odds were good the Huskies would end up making the trip to the Rose Bowl over Utah since they had a better record and would have had a higher ranking as well.

It’s also worth noting that USC has renewed interest amongst college football fans after going 11-1 in the regular season after finishing 4-8 just a season ago. They have long been one of the most recognized and storied brands in all of college football but have vastly underachieved over the past decade or so making it natural for people to feel excitement about them once more.

On the flip side, with Utah you have a brand that is growing in national interest and has people curious after taking their show on the road the past few years. The Utes have never been more visible impressing the likes of Ohio State, Florida, Michigan, and Alabama over the past decade. Win or lose, Utah has provided a tough matchup and proven someone knows how to play “big boy” football out West. (A common misconception for those who don’t pay much attention to the Pac-12.)

Pac-12 Championship Attendance Record Was Set Too

During the game Friday night, the Pac-12 announced that an attendance record was also set for the Pac-12 Championship Game sighting their first-ever sellout.


Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @BodkinKSLsports

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Utah, USC Break Pac-12 Championship Viewership Records