USC's 32-18 victory over Michigan in the Rose Bowl on Monday on ABC got an impressive 17.9 rating with a 35 share of the audience in the Los Angeles market, according to Nielsen Media Research. That includes the 1:30 p.m. pregame show. An ESPN-ABC spokesman said the game got a 19.3 rating.
But those numbers pale in comparison with the 35.4/52 for last year's Rose Bowl, when it was the Bowl Championship Series national championship game and Texas quarterback Vince Young scored with 19 seconds left to give the Longhorns a 41-38 win over USC.
ESPN-ABC said the 19.3 for Monday's game is the third-highest rating for the L.A. market since last year's Rose Bowl.
The highest-rated sporting event in L.A. in recent years was a 43.3 for the 2003 Super Bowl, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Oakland Raiders. Game 7 of the 2002 World Series between the Angels and San Francisco Giants got a 42.1 and Game 7 of the NBA Western Conference finals between the Lakers and Sacramento Kings the same year got a 36.9.
Monday night's Fiesta Bowl, in which Boise State defeated Oklahoma, 43-42, in overtime, got a 7.5 rating with a 12 share in L.A. on Fox. That game averaged 668,000 viewers, compared with 1,574,000 for the Rose Bowl.
The national overnight rating for the Rose Bowl was a 14.5, compared with an 8.3 for the Fiesta Bowl. Counting the pregame show, the overnight rating for the Fiesta Bowl was a 7.1, the highest prime-time rating for any network Monday night.
Fox reported that the Fiesta Bowl postgame show, during which Boise State running back Ian Johnson proposed to his girlfriend, got a 4.4 rating. The network said it is the highest-rated marriage proposal in sports since 1985, when Ahmad Rashad proposed to Phylicia Ayers-Allen on an NBC NFL pregame show. That proposal got a 13.5 rating.