The Nevada football team's 26-21 win over San Diego State on Saturday on CBS drew a 0.6 rating, which translates to 859,000 viewers.
That made the game the most watched contest with a Mountain West team this season, surpassing the 680,000 viewers for the Boise State-BYU game earlier this month on FS1. The highest-rated regular-season MW game last year was Boise State versus Marshall with 1.38 million viewers. The Broncos' bowl game against Washington also drew 2.64 million viewers.
The Wolf Pack got an unprecedented home network game after a rash of COVID-19 cancelations in the SEC, which draws the highly coveted 12:30 p.m. Pacific time slot on CBS. But with several SEC games being canceled or postponed last week, CBS moved the Nevada-SDSU game originally scheduled to CBS Sports Network into its marquee slot with lead announcers Brad Nessler and Gary Danielson.
While the game was the highest rated for a MW school this season, it paled in comparison to the typical viewership in that slot. The six SEC games in that slot earlier this season averaged a viewership of 5.398 million per game, meaning the Nevada-SDSU ratings were down 84.1 percent from the typical viewership for that slot.
Saturday's game marked the second time this season the 12:30 p.m. CBS slot went to a non-SEC game, the first being a contest between Appalachian State-Marshall in September before the SEC began play. That game drew 1.25 million, or 132 percent that of the Nevada-SDSU game.
The SEC games in that time slot earlier this season drew the following numbers: Alabama-Georgia (9.61 million); Tennessee-Georgia (5.77 million); Texas A&M-Alabama (4.76 million); Mississippi State-LSU (4.44 million); Alabama-Tennessee (4.36 million); and LSU-Auburn (3.45 million).
The Wolf Pack's highest-rated game from earlier this season was its win over UNLV, which drew 293,000 viewers. It's win over Utah State drew 257,0000 viewers. Both were on FS1. Nevada's highest-rated regular-season game last year also was against SDSU and drew 325,000 viewers on ESPN2. Its 2019 bowl game against Ohio on ESPN drew 1.36 million viewers.
Sports broadcast viewership has been down across the board this season, falling in MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, tennis, golf and horse racing among other sports.