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ACC Championship Game A Hit At The Box Office, Another Dud On TV

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Virginia Tech and Florida State officially drew 72,379 fans to Bank of America Stadium for the 2010 ACC Championship Game, the highest attendance total since those two teams squared off in the inaugural game in Jacksonville in 2005. More importantly, the Bank of America Stadium crowd looked good on television. No more embarrassing interweb photos of half-empty NFL Stadiums for the ACC's biggest football game, at least for another year.

Although the Hokies and Seminoles were able to sell a lot of tickets to Charlotte, it was another television dud for the conference. According to Sports Media Watch, this year's Championship Game earned a 1.8 rating and 3.047 million viewers, up 13% and 20%, respectively on last year's Clemson-Georgia Tech game.

Even with the slight up-tick in ratings year-over-year, this year's game was the second-lowest rated ACC Championship Game in the event's six year history.

In comparison, BC's 2007 championship game against Virginia Tech drew a 4.1 rating, while our 2008 trip to Tampa drew a 2.6 rating.

Over the last two years, the ACC Championship Game has gone head-to-head with the Big 12 Championship Game, and ratings have been extremely poor as a result. It's probably high time that the game return to its 1:00 PM ET start, the game's kickoff time for the 2006-2008 games. While this year's Oklahoma-Nebraska game will be the final Big 12 Football Championship in the foreseeable future, the ACC will likely have to go up against either the new Pac 12 Championship or the Big Ten Football Championship in 2011.

The ACC should probably move the game back to a 1 PM start, both to avoid competing with the Pac 12, Big Ten or SEC (typically a 4 PM start) and to have improved weather conditions during the day in Charlotte. During this year's championship weekend, your nationally televised college football options were Rutgers-West Virginia, Pittsburgh-Cincinnati and the Conference USA Championship Game between UCF and SMU. Gross.

ACC Championship Game Television Ratings 2005-2010

Year Day Date Time Game TV Rating Viewers (000)
2010 Saturday 12/4/2010 7:45 PM Virginia Tech vs. Florida State ESPN 1.8 3,047
2009 Saturday 12/5/2009 8:00 PM Georgia Tech vs. Clemson ESPN 1.6 2,541
2008 Saturday 12/6/2008 1:00 PM Virginia Tech vs. Boston College ABC 2.6 --
2007 Saturday 12/1/2007 1:00 PM Virginia Tech vs. Boston College ABC 4.1 --
2006 Saturday 12/2/2006 1:00 PM Georgia Tech vs. Wake Forest ABC 3.6 4,878
2005 Saturday 12/3/2005 8:00 PM Virginia Tech vs. Florida State ABC 5.1 7,625