Saturday's marquee college football matchup between Alabama and Florida State drew 12.5 million viewers on ABC, making it the most-watched kickoff weekend game on record.
According to a press release sent out Monday by ESPN, this is the third straight year ABC's prime-time Saturday game drew a record number of viewers. Alabama-Florida State drew 1.4 million viewers than last year's Texas-Notre Dame clash, which previously held the top mark.
The Crimson Tide earned a 24-7 victory over Florida State, holding the Seminoles scoreless in the second half. ESPN's press release stated the peak was at 14.1 million viewers in the 9-9:30 p.m. ET block of programming, which would have been during the first half.
Florida State kept the game close for the first 30 minutes, going into halftime down 10-7. The Seminoles offense struggled in the second half, finishing the game with 1.5 yards per rush. Quarterback Deondre Francois also threw two interceptions, and it was clear by midway through the third quarter that Alabama was in control.
Alabama has defeated a ranked opponent to begin each of the last three regular seasons.