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Prime delivers in prime time: CU-CSU broke ESPN viewership records

Deion will tell you he "ain't hard to find," and the same has been true for the Buffs on television.
Deion Sanders
Posted at 5:30 PM, Sep 19, 2023

Coach Prime is right at home in prime time.

Saturday’s Rocky Mountain Showdown between Deion Sanders’ Colorado Buffaloes and Colorado State was the most watched ESPN late-prime game on record and fifth most-watched college football game ever, according to the network’s PR team.

ESPN says the game was also its most-streamed regular-season contest of all time.

CU, of course, came back from down 11 midway through the fourth quarter and ultimately won a double-overtime thriller over its longtime in-state rival, 43-35.

The showdown averaged 9.3 million viewers, with a peak of 11.1 million viewers, according to ESPN PR.

The viewership was also good for the fourth best regular-season college football game, excluding conference championships, on ESPN over the last six years.

Colorado State entered the game as a three-touchdown underdog before taking Colorado down to the wire in a game that was featured on ESPN’s College GameDay and Fox Big Noon Kickoff.

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Adding to the intrigue ahead of kickoff was a war of words between Sanders and Rams head coach Jay Norvell.

Norvell took an apparent jab at Sanders’ etiquette in a radio interview, saying he “take off his hat and his sunglasses” when he “talks to grown-ups.” Sanders said “it’s personal” and gained viral attention for gifting his signature eyewear to his team and broadcast crews ahead of the matchup.

CU is not done with the spotlight, either.

The No. 19 Buffs will return to the national stage in Week 4 when they visit No. 10 Oregon in Eugene. That game will air on Denver7 with kickoff at 1:30 p.m.

Colorado’s home bout with the USC Trojans will air in Fox’s Big Noon Saturday slot the following week.

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