The eyes of the college football world were truly on Austin on Sunday evening as the Texas Longhorns defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in a double-overtime thriller in front of a school-record crowd of 102,315.
The game also drew what ESPN terms as “massive” viewership on television and across platforms — it drew an overnight rating of 7.0, making it the second-most viewed season-opening game in ESPN/ABC history, coming in behind Florida State-Miami in 2005.
There were also 786,000 unique viewers tuned in on WatchESPN, a regular-season record for that service.
Combined, the viewership set an opening-weekend record:
Notre Dame-Texas: 11,093,000 viewers (TV + Streaming), most-watched kickoff weekend game on record across all nets pic.twitter.com/3egc0ggpg8— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) September 5, 2016
Quite a statement about the appeal of the two programs as the ‘Horns made a statement about the program’s future.