Rose Bowl Game Between Utah, Penn State Posts All-Time Low Viewership Numbers

Jan 5, 2023, 8:47 AM | Updated: Jan 11, 2023, 1:21 pm
A detailed view of the Rose Bowl sign is seen on the stadium prior to the 2023 Rose Bowl Game between the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Utah Utes at Rose Bowl Stadium on January 02, 2023 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The 2023 Rose Bowl between Utah and Penn State posted its lowest viewership numbers since 2016 according to an article by the Athletic.

The iconic bowl game aired on ESPN on Monday, January 2 only pulled in 10.2 million viewers compared to last year when the Utes made their debut against Ohio State which drew an impressive 16.6 million viewers.


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Stanford versus Iowa held the previous low record at 13.6 million.

Why The Low Rose Bowl Viewership Numbers?

There appear to be a few factors as to why the numbers were not as high as they have been in the past.

For starts, having the game be played on January 2 instead of the Rose Bowl’s traditional January 1 date to avoid NFL Sunday likely threw a lot of viewership off. Unfortunately, while most people get January 1 off as a holiday, not many get January 2 off and with the 3 pm MT/2 pm PT kickoff, makes it hard for potential viewers to see the game.


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It’s also worth noting repeat visits sometimes don’t hold as much pull, so with Utah having already been there just last season, some of the curious eyeballs from the year before were maybe not as present. 

Finally, just the nature of how the game went was probably not as compelling as other years have been. Yes, Utah and Penn State battled back and forth through most of the first and second quarters before Utes quarterback Cam Rising got hurt in the third quarter.

However, it was more of a defensive back and forth versus the shootout Utah and Ohio State found themselves in the previous year. Obviously, once Rising went down the game became even less compelling as the Nittany Lions began to pull away and put the game away whereas the year before the game was not decided till the very last seconds.

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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Rose Bowl Game Between Utah, Penn State Posts All-Time Low Viewership Numbers