By (Matthew Speakman)

Alabama fans have been known for their relentless efforts to make it into Bryant-Denny Stadium for football games, or to travel to neutral locations the Crimson Tide is playing at for select games. If they can not, then almost all of them tune into the network Alabama is airing on.

This year was no different.

For the 2015-16 season, Alabama was one of six schools to average over 100,000 fans per home game, with 101,112 fans showing up to Bryant-Denny Stadium during the fall. Alabama lead all FBS programs in total attendance for both home and away regular-season games and the postseason with 1,354,327 total fans attending its 15 games.

For the postseason, Alabama’s semifinal matchup with Michigan State in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic saw 82,812 fans in attendance, which was a 16 percent increase from the previous year. That matchup was also one of eight postseason bowl games with over 71,000 fans.

Alabama’s matchup with Clemson in the College Football Playoff was also among these eight games, with 75,765 fans in attendance.

As far as the entire conference goes, the SEC led all FBS conferences in average attendance for the 18th consecutive season with an all-conference record of 78,630 fans per game. Six SEC schools were in the nation’s top 10 for average attendance. The SEC also set an all-time record across all conferences with 7,784,376 fans attending games in the 2015 season.

In the television department, the Crimson Tide also excelled. In its College Football Playoff showdown against Clemson for the National Championship, ESPN’s megacast of the game delivered a 16.0 rating overnight, which is ESPN’s third-best overnight for any game across all sports. The championship was also the most streamed game ever on the WatchESPN app, excluding the 2014 World Cup.

Birmingham, Alabama was the No. 1 local market for the CFP National Championship Game, earning a 52.9 overnight, which is the market’s third best overnight for a postseason college football game on ESPN.

In its semifinal game against Michigan State, the matchup earned a 9.9 overnight rating, which is ESPN’s fifth best overnight for a non-championship college football game. The CFP match ups have resulted in WatchESPN’s top six most streamed college football games.

ESPN as a whole averaged 1,852,000 viewers for the 270 games it televised across its related networks in the 2015 college football regular season.

Alabama’s matchup with LSU on Nov. 7, which was aired on CBS, was the second most-watched game of the regular season, which averaged 11.06 million viewers. Alabama’s SEC Championship showdown against Florida was the season’s highest-rated and most watched college football game, averaging 12.76 million viewers.

The SEC on CBS was the highest-rated regular season college football package on any network for the seventh consecutive year. The network averaged a 3.4 rating during SEC on CBS games.

Alabama’s opening week match-up with Wisconsin on ABC’s Saturday Night Football drew a 4.3 rating and 8.0 million viewers, making it the second most watched Saturday Night Football game in nine years.

Alabama also set some milestones outside of attendance and viewership. The team made its 63rd postseason appearance. During that run, Alabama running back Derrick Henry became the 19th player in FBS history to rush for over 2,000 yards. Alabama was one of 18 teams to score 45 points or more in the postseason, scoring exactly 45 in the Crimson Tide’s victory over Clemson.

The SEC as a whole added to the contributions, winning a NCAA-record nine bowl games and becoming the first conference in college football history to send at least 10 teams to bowl games in three consecutive seasons.

It was a record setting year for both Alabama and the SEC, and as the 2016 season approaches, fans will likely continue to tune into football games, whether it be in the stands or at home.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports