Most-watched Pac-12 football games of 2016

The highest-rated televised game of 2016 involving a Pac-12 team happened on the first Saturday of the season.

Inter-conference matchups were the most-watched football games involving Pac-12 schools in 2016 , according to Nielsen ratings compiled by Sports Media Watch

Four of the seven most-viewed Pac-12 games this season involved a non-conference opponent. (See the full list below.)

Of course, games on ABC, Fox and CBS have an inherent audience-size advantage over sports networks. Among the nationally televised games, none came close to USC-Alabama's 7.9 million viewers on Sept. 3, the opening Saturday of the season  though only a fraction were likely watching by the end of the 52-6 'Bama blowout. 

To put that in context, Ohio State's overtime win against Michigan on Nov. 26 was the highest rated college football game of the year, drawing 16.8 million viewers. 

It's interesting to note the significant range in total eyeballs on FS1 games this season, from 1.36 million (Washington vs Utah) to 350,000 (Arizona vs. Utah). 

Here is the viewership-ranked list of Nielsen rated games for the 2016 regular season. (ESPNEWS, SEC Network, CBS Sports Network, Big Ten Network and Pac-12 Network are not Nielsen rated.)

Viewers

Game

Network

Date

7,944,000 USC vs. Alabama ABC Sept. 3
5,695,000 Notre Dame vs. USC ABC Nov. 26
4,301,000 USC vs. Washington FOX Nov. 12
4,228,000 Oregon vs. Nebraska ABC Sept. 17
3,786,000 Stanford vs. UCLA ABC Sept. 24
3,333,000 Stanford vs. Washington ESPN Sept. 30
3,107,000 UCLA vs. Texas A&M CBS Sept. 3
3,060,000 Utah vs. Colorado FOX Nov. 26
2,877,000 USC vs. Stanford ABC Nov. 17
2,870,000 Stanford vs. Notre Dame NBC Oct. 15
2,818,000 Washington vs. Wash. St. FOX Nov. 25
2,447,000 Texas vs. California ESPN Sept. 17
2,301,000 USC vs. UCLA ESPN Nov. 19
2,181,000 Arizona St. vs. Washington FOX Nov. 19
2,114,000 Wash. St. vs. Colorado FOX Nov. 19
2,007,000 Washington vs. Cal ESPN Nov. 5
1,837,000 Washington vs. Oregon FOX Oct. 8
1,754,000 Wash. St. vs. Stanford ESPN Oct. 8
1,693,000 BYU vs. Utah FOX Sept. 10
1,672,000 Arizona St. vs. Arizona ESPN Nov. 25
1,579,000 Virginia vs. Oregon ESPN Sept. 10
1,516,000 Oregon vs. California ESPN Oct. 21
1,477,000 Oregon vs. USC ESPN Nov. 5
1,459,000 Arizona St. vs. USC FOX Oct. 1
1,376,000 Washington vs. Utah FS1 Oct. 29
1,368,000 Utah vs. UCLA FOX Oct. 22
1,358,000 Kansas State vs. Stanford FS1 Sept. 2
1,311,000 UCLA vs. Wash. St. ESPN Oct. 15
1,107,000 Cal vs. USC ESPN Oct. 27
1,042,000 USC vs. Utah FS1 Sept. 23
1,027,000 Arizona vs. UCLA ESPN Oct. 1
1,005,000 Cal vs. Wash. St. ESPN Nov. 12
871,000 USC vs. Arizona FOX Oct. 15
834,000 Texas Tech vs. Arizona St. FS1 Sept. 24
815,000 Wash. St. vs. Oregon St. ESPN2 Oct. 29
783,000 UCLA vs. Arizona St. ESPN2 Oct. 8
782,000 Hawaii vs. Cal ESPN Aug. 26
764,000 UCLA vs. BYU ESPN2 Sept. 17
728,000 BYU vs. Arizona FS1 Sept. 3
720,000 Arizona State vs. UTSA ESPN2 Sept. 17
684,000 Wash. St. vs. Boise St. ESPN2 Sept. 10
643,000 Cal vs. Arizona St. ESPN2 Sept. 24
592,000 Oregon St. vs. Stanford FS1 Nov. 5
579,000 UCLA vs. Cal ESPN2 Nov. 26
536,000 UCLA vs. Colorado FS1 Nov. 3
512,000 Utah vs. Arizona St. FS1 Oct. 1
374,000 Colorado vs. Arizona FS1 Nov. 12
372,000 Boise St. vs. Oregon St. FS1 Sept. 24
370,000 Stanford vs. Arizona FS1 Oct. 29
350,000 Arizona vs.Utah FS1 Oct. 8

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