Fiesta Bowl drew high ratings for DFW

While the Fiesta Bowl loss to Boise State was certainly not the best game in the TCU’s history, it was one of the most watched.

According to a Fort Worth Star-Telegram article, Fox drew 13.8 million viewers, 27 percent more than the Mountain West rival Utah victory over Alabama in last season’s Allstate Sugar Bowl.

Dallas-Fort Worth comprised of 35 share on the night of the game, which means that 35 percent of viewers in the area watching television at the time were tuned in to the game.

Explanations offered for the successful exposure of the Fiesta Bowl include that there had never been a BCS non-championship game between two undefeated teams or that never before had two non-BCS conference opponents met in a BCS bowl game.

Mark Cohen, director of athletic media relations, said the broadcast was great exposure for the university.

“I think it’s fantastic exposure,” Cohen said. “Monday night on Fox is a major football viewing night, and it was the first Monday without a Monday Night Football game. There were so many promos on Fox leading up to the game, and I think a lot of people tuned in for the curiosity factor.”

Cohen said it was unclear if the game offered the greatest exposure ratings in university history, but he said he thought it neared the top.

ESPN Radio broadcasted the game live from The Pour House, a restaurant and bar near downtown Fort Worth.

Eric Tschetter, owner of The Pour House, said it was beyond packed as hundreds gathered for the watch party.

The Fiesta Bowl ratings were good news for a team that had some trouble with television broadcasts this season. While 12 of the Frogs’ 13 games could be seen on TV, DirecTV subscribers missed four on Versus because of a contract feud. Subscribers to Dish Network were unable to watch three games on the MountainWest Sports Network.

“We’re contractually obligated through the conference to be on CBS College Sports, Versus and the (MountainWest Sports Network) for home games,” Cohen said. “For instance, if we play a Big 12 team on the road, it would be on another network, but when we play Baylor next season at home, it will be on one of the three.”

The Frogs’ 2010 non-conference could include games that would further advance the program’s exposure.

Along with a home game against Big 12 opponent Baylor University, TCU is close to inking a game against Oregon State from the Pac-10 at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, according to ESPNDallas.com.

TCU’s game against Southern Methodist University could also see more national attention next year after SMU’s first bowl win in 25 years.