The 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship Game between Alabama and Clemson received a 15.8 overnight rating for Monday night's telecast on ESPN.
John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal passed along word of the rating from the Crimson Tide's triumph Tuesday, which he notes is a 15 percent drop from the 2015 title game.
USA Today noted last year's championship clash between Ohio State and Oregon received an 18.2 rating and 33,395,000 viewers.
Although overall viewership numbers haven't yet been released, the ratings drop continues a trend that was seen during the semifinal games, which were held on New Year's Eve.
Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated reported both matchups in the previous round saw viewership drop considerably (45 percent for Clemson vs. Oklahoma and 34 percent for Alabama vs. Michigan State). In all, the games lost more than 12 million viewers combined.
The New Year's Eve placement of those game certainly played a role in the decrease. Yet, Stewart Mandel and Bruce Feldman of FoxSports.com passed along comments from CFP executive director Bill Hancock, who stated there hasn't been any talk of redoing the schedule for future years.
"The contract is in place for 12 years," Hancock said Jan. 4 on The Audible podcast. "We have not talked at all about making any changes."
John Consoli of Broadcasting & Cable reported Jan. 8 that ESPN owed advertisers around $20 million in ad makegoods after ratings for the semifinals fell short of expectations.
The ratings for the title game may cause even more alarm bells to sound since it took place in its traditional Monday night slot against little sports competition. Furthermore, the game was highly entertaining with the Tide's 45-40 victory not being wrapped up until the final minutes.
Hancock told Fox Sports after the semifinals that "we all need to be careful, step back and remember that one year does not make a trend." That said, the ratings drop means the pressure will be on to produce bounce-back results at the end of next season.