|Fox College Football|
|Also known as||College Football on Fox|
CFB on Fox
BCS on Fox (2007-10)
|Genre||College football game telecasts|
|Presented by||Gus Johnson|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||19|
|Running time||210 minutes or until game ends|
|Original network||Fox (1996-present)|
Fox Sports Networks (1999-present)
Fox College Sports (2006-present)
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
(downconverted to letterboxed 4:3 on SDTV feed since 2009),
|Original release||August 31, 1996 -|
|Related shows||Big Noon Saturday|
Big Noon Kickoff
Among the Power Five conferences, Fox primarily airs coverage of the Big Ten Conference, Big 12 Conference, and Pac-12, and holds rights to the Big Ten and the Pac-12 championship games (with the latter alternating yearly with ESPN/ABC). Fox also holds rights to the Mountain West Conference, Boise State home games, as well as the Mountain West Championship Game. Secondary coverage is also broadcast by the regional Fox Sports Networks and Fox College Sports channels. In addition to regular season games, Fox also holds rights to the Redbox Bowl and Holiday Bowl, and formerly broadcast the Bowl Championship Series and Cotton Bowl Classic.
The Fox network acquired its first college football telecast in 1998, when it obtained the broadcast rights to the annual Cotton Bowl Classic held each January on (eventually, the day after) New Year's Day; the first game to be shown on the network as part of the deal was held on January 1, 1999. Fox renewed its contract to carry the game in 2010, in a four-year agreement that ran through the 2013 NCAA college football season. Fox lost the rights to the Cotton Bowl to ESPN for the 2015 edition, as the cable network holds the television contract to all six bowl games that encompass the College Football Playoff system under a twelve-year deal worth over $7.3 billion. The Cotton Bowl was the only game among the six that was not already broadcast by ESPN.
From the 2006 through the 2009 seasons, Fox held the broadcast rights to most of the games comprising the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) - including the Sugar Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl and the Orange Bowl, as well as the BCS Championship Game. Fox paid close to $20 million per game for the rights to televise the BCS games. The network's contract with the BCS excluded any event in the series that was held at the Rose Bowl stadium, such as the Rose Bowl Game and the 2010 BCS National Championship Game, as ABC already had a separate arrangement with the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association to serve as the broadcaster for the games.
ESPN, which is majority owned by ABC's corporate parent The Walt Disney Company and serves as the producer for all of ABC's sports coverage, would displace Fox outright as the broadcaster of the BCS beginning in the 2010-11 season. This left the Fox network with only the Cotton Bowl Classic as the sole college football game, to which it held the television rights until the 2013-14 season.
Beginning with the 2011 season, sister cable channel FX began airing a "game of the week" on Saturdays featuring matchups from the Big 12, Conference USA, and Pac-12. The Fox network also obtained the rights to air the Big Ten Conference's new football championship game beginning that season and running through 2016, as part of Fox Sports' involvement with the Big Ten Network. Fox also acquired bi-yearly rights to the inaugural Pac-12 Football Championship Game, alternating with ESPN.
Beginning with the 2012 season, Fox added regular season games on Saturdays to its lineup; it broadcast eight afternoon games and twelve nighttime games throughout the season, with the latter telecasts airing as part of a new strategy by the network to carry more sports programming on Saturday nights during prime time. FS1 replaced FX's coverage upon its launch in August 2013, though some overflow coverage has aired on FX occasionally when warranted; since 2017, overflow coverage has been carried on Fox Business Network, which usually carries paid programming on Saturday afternoons of little consequence to pre-emption.
Fox's coverage of the 2015 season opened with a game on FS1 featuring the Michigan Wolverines at the Utah Utes. As the first game featuring new head coach Jim Harbaugh, the season premiere was promoted with a touring "HarBus"--decorated with a sweater and khakis in imitation of Harbaugh's on-field wardrobe--travelling to Salt Lake City for the game, accompanied by a group of "HarBros" dressed like Harbaugh. The tour concluded at Salt Lake City's Grand America Hotel for game day; the bus itself was barred from entering the University of Utah's campus.
On July 12, 2016, the San Francisco 49ers announced that they had taken over the Foster Farms Bowl (now known as the Redbox Bowl), and had reached a four-year deal to move the game to Fox and Fox Deportes beginning in 2016. It was also reported by Sports Business Journal that Fox was pursuing a share of the Big Ten's primary football rights. Fox Sports began carrying select college football games in virtual reality for the 2016 season. The following year, FS1 also acquired rights to the Holiday Bowl, ending a long-standing relationship with the game and ESPN.
On July 24, 2017, the Big Ten Conference announced that Fox and ESPN had acquired rights to its games under a six-year deal beginning in the 2017 season. The contract also includes an extension of Fox's contract to operate Big Ten Network through 2032. The deal gives Fox the first choice of games on most weeks, including marquee games such as the Michigan/Ohio State game--which had been a fixture of ABC's college football schedule for over a half-decade. The game will remain in its traditional noon slot on the last day of the Big Ten's regular season.
Fox promoted its addition of Big Ten football with promotional campaigns focusing on each team; a Children of the Corn-themed commercial focusing on the Nebraska Cornhuskers was pulled after complaints by the school.
Prior to the 2019 season, Fox lost its rights to future Big 12 championship games to ESPN as part of an expansion of its rights to the conference. Fox declined to bid on the 2019, 2021, and 2023 games.
Fox also introduced a new flagship 12:00 p.m. ET window known as Big Noon Saturday, accompanied by the new pre-game show, Big Noon Kickoff. The new emphasis on early games proved successful: in the first weeks of the 2019 season, Fox had the highest-rated game in the timeslot on multiple occasions.
On January 9, 2020, the Mountain West Conference announced that its next top-tier basketball and football contracts would be split between CBS Sports and Fox Sports under a six-year deal, with Fox replacing ESPN. Fox will hold rights to 23 games per-season, including the conference championship and all Boise State home games (since 2012, as part of concessions to remain in the conference, the Mountain West has allowed Boise State's home games to be sold as a separate package from the remainder of its media rights). CBS Sports Network will remain the main broadcaster for the conference outside of these games.
|Rank||Date||Matchup||Network||Viewers (millions)||TV Rating||Significance|
|1||November 24, 2018, 12:00 ET||#4 Michigan||39||#10 Ohio State||62||Fox||13.20||7.5||The Game|
|2||November 30, 2019, 12:00 ET||#1 Ohio State||56||#13 Michigan||27||12.42||7.5||The Game|
|3||November 25, 2017, 12:00 ET||#9 Ohio State||31||Michigan||20||10.51||6.1||The Game|
|4||October 28, 2017, 3:30 ET||#2 Penn State||38||#6 Ohio State||39||9.87||5.8||Rivalry|
|5||November 23, 2019, 12:00 ET||#8 Penn State||17||#2 Ohio State||28||9.43||5.8||Rivalry|
|6||November 28, 2015, 7:30 ET||#6 Notre Dame||36||#9 Stanford||38||7.32||4.3||Legends Trophy|
|7||October 12, 2019, 12:00 ET||#6 Oklahoma||34||#11 Texas||27||7.25||4.5||Red River Showdown|
|8||October 26, 2019, 12:00 ET||#13 Wisconsin||7||#3 Ohio State||38||6.65||4.2|
|9||September 6, 2014, 6:30 ET||#7 Michigan State||27||#3 Oregon||46||5.98||3.5|
|10||September 17, 2016, 9:02 ET||#3 Ohio State||45||#14 Oklahoma||24||5.80||3.4|
|Year||Conference||Matchup||Viewers (millions)||TV Ratings|
|2011||Big Ten||#15 Wisconsin||42||#11 Michigan State||39||7.8||4.6|
|2012||Big Ten||Wisconsin||70||#14 Nebraska||31||4.9||3.0|
|Pac-12||#17 UCLA||24||#8 Stanford||27|
|2013||Big Ten||#10 Michigan State||34||#2 Ohio State||24||13.90||7.9|
|2014||Big Ten||#13 Wisconsin||0||#5 Ohio State||59||6.13||3.5|
|Pac-12||#7 Arizona||13||#2 Oregon||51||6.00||3.7|
|2015||Big Ten||#5 Michigan State||16||#4 Iowa||13||9.8||5.7|
|2016||Big Ten||#7 Penn State||38||#6 Wisconsin||31||9.19||5.2|
|Pac-12||#8 Colorado||10||#4 Washington||41||5.67||3.4|
|2017||Big Ten||#8 Ohio State||27||#4 Wisconsin||21||12.92||7.3|
|Big 12||#11 TCU||17||#3 Oklahoma||41||5.90||3.8|
|2018||Big Ten||#21 Northwestern||24||#6 Ohio State||45||8.66||5.0|
|Pac-12||#17 Utah||3||#11 Washington||10||5.06||2.6|
|2019||Big Ten||#1 Ohio State||34||#8 Wisconsin||21|