The first-ever overtime Cricket Celebration Bowl featuring unbeaten Jackson State and MEAC champion North Carolina Central outdrew several FBS bowl games and the FCS playoffs.
North Carolina Central’s 41-34 upset win over Jackson State on Saturday in the seventh installment of the MEAC-SWAC bowl drew 2.4 million viewers and featured a 1.42 overnight rating on ABC, according to Show Buzz Daily.
The Celebration Bowl featured a higher TV rating than the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl (1.31), New Mexico Bowl (1.17) and Cincinnati-Louisville (1.12).
The viewership total was slightly down over the 2021 game between Jackson State and South Carolina State, which drew a 1.6 rating and 2.5 million viewers.
The highest-rated Celebration Bowl since its inception was the inaugural game in 2015, which boasted a 1.9 television rating.
In addition to rating higher than some FBS bowls, the Celebration Bowl fared better than several FCS postseason games, including Incarnate Word-Notre Dame (0.62) and South Dakota State-Montana State (0.36), according to Show Buzz Daily numbers.