TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State's reputation for delivering fans and television ratings in bowl games was proven to be accurate once again in 2008. The Champs Sports Bowl featuring Florida State and Wisconsin was the most highly attended incarnation of the game since its inaugural game in Ft. Lauderdale in 1990 and it was also the second-highest rated bowl game in the history of ESPN.
Florida State's 42-13 victory over Wisconsin averaged 5,098,000 homes, based on a 5.2 rating making it the second-largest bowl audience ever for an ESPN broadcast. ESPN's most-watched bowl game ever was the Alamo Bowl on December, 30, 2006, between Iowa and Texas. It was watched by an average of 5,521,000 homes, based on a 6.0 rating. This is the third straight year that FSU has set a record for TV ratings in its bowl game. The 2006 Emerald Bowl and 2007 Music City Bowl also posted the best ratings in their history with FSU playing in the game. The trend dates back even further as two of the top three most-watched games in BCS history have also involved the Seminoles (2000 Sugar Bowl and 2001 Orange Bowl).
The 2007 Music City Bowl attracted 3.9 million households, becoming the highest-rated and most viewed in its history. It was the second-highest rated bowl game shown on ESPN in 2007. Ratings for the 2007 Music City Bowl were up 80% over the previous year. The 2006 Emerald Bowl between FSU and UCLA received a 4.48 rating on ESPN, meaning 9.5 million households tuned in to see the Seminoles beat the Bruins 44-27. The Emerald Bowl ranked ninth among 32 total bowl telecasts in overall viewership and it was the highest rated Emerald Bowl in history. Two of the top three most watched games in the history of the BCS featured FSU.
FSU fans have now helped set attendance records at four of their last five bowl games. The Florida State vs. West Virginia Gator Bowl in 2005 drew 70,112 fans; the 2006 Orange Bowl against Miami sold 77,773 tickets and the Emerald Bowl vs. UCLA sold out at 40,331. In this year's Champs Sports Bowl, the announced attendance was 52,692, the largest ever in Champs Sports Bowl history. It is the second largest crowd in the history of the bowl which dates to the 1990 Blockbuster Bowl at Dolphins Stadium, formerly known as Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami, Fla. That game drew 74,021 fans to see a match-up between Florida State and Penn State, a game won by the Seminoles 24-17.