The Gophers' victory over Central Michigan in the Quick Lane Bowl was far less of a TV attraction than Minnesota's three next most recent bowl games.
According to a person with access to the local TV numbers, the game drew an 8.0 rating in the Minneapolis-St. Paul market, which equates to 138,700 households.
The national audience on ESPN2 totaled 1,486,000 viewers, down 48 percent from the 2.9 million viewers who watched last year's Quick Lane Bowl between Rutgers and North Carolina, according to Sports Media Watch. That site noted: This year's [Quick Lane Bowl] aired on ESPN2. The last time ESPN2 aired a bowl game outside of New Year's Day was 2012, when the Fight Hunger Bowl (now the Foster Farms Bowl) had 1.1 million.
The Quick Lane Bowl was still not the least-watched bowl this year, as the Poinsettia (1.4 million), New Orleans (1.4 million), Miami Beach (1.2 million) and Potato (1.1 million) each drew smaller national TV audiences, according to Sports Media Watch.
Not surprisingly, the Gophers' TV numbers are down sharply from last season's Citrus Bowl loss to Missouri. That game drew 739,900 households locally and 6.2 million watched that game nationally on ABC, according to Sports Media Watch.
The 2013 Texas Bowl was watched by 312,200 households locally (3.99 million national viewers), the 2012 Meinke Care Bowl by 275,700 (4.6 million).
Gophers vs. Whitecaps
The No. 3-rated Gophers women's hockey team will play the Minnesota Whitecaps at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Ridder Arena in an exhibition game. Nine ex-Gophers are on the Whitecaps. Admission is free.