The 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship game between Alabama and Clemson on Jan. 7 was the most-watched CFP showdown of their three title game matchups, ESPN announced Tuesday. That result is based on ESPN’s final Nielsen reporting.
The final Nielsen total live audience turned out to be 26,979,000 viewers, which was higher than both of the previous Alabama-Clemson national championship matchups. It was up 3 percent from the Jan. 11, 2016 game and 2 percent from the Jan. 9, 2017 game. The Crimson Tide won the first one 45-40, while the Tigers won the second 35-31 and the third 44-16.
There have been five CFP championship games overall, as the current postseason format was originally implemented prior to the 2014 season, and all five of them are ranked in the top 10 most-watched cable telecasts of all-time. This year’s national championship checks in at No. 7.
As for the Orange Bowl semifinal between Alabama and Oklahoma on Dec. 29, 2018, there were 20,911,000 viewers. The Cotton Bowl between Clemson and Notre Dame earlier that same day saw 18,830,000 viewers.
Nielsen reporting can be further understood here (https://www.espnfrontrow.com/2017/09/nielsen-total-audience-explained/).