The 2012 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl drew the largest audience in the game’s history with an average of 2,584,000 households. The ESPN telecast’s 2.6 average household coverage rating is the bowl’s second highest rating in the event’s history.
The 10th edition of the Fort Worth-based bowl game was played Saturday, Dec. 29 and featured the Rice Owls versus the Air Force Falcons. Rice claimed the bowl victory with a 33-14 win in front of a crowd of 40,754 at the newly renovated Amon G. Carter Stadium.
With a 59% ratings increase from 2011’s 1.6 coverage rating, the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl saw the largest HH ratings increase for all bowls on ESPN through Jan. 1, 2013. Coverage of the game was provided by ESPN and ESPN Radio.
“We are thrilled with the success of our 10th anniversary game,” said Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl executive director, Brant Ringler. “Not only did we have a great crowd at Amon G. Carter Stadium, but we saw success with our TV numbers as well.”
The 2.6 rating is second only to the rating from bowl’s inaugural game in 2003, in which the match-up between #18 Boise State and #19 TCU drew a television audience of 2.8.
Owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television (ERT), the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl has featured the “armed forces” theme since 2006. Patriotic overtones recognizing all five branches of the service are prevalent throughout the game. Past Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowls have included fan-fest areas showcasing armed forces hardware; flyovers; demonstrations by several of the military's top skydiving teams; custom homes awarded to wounded warriors; on-field induction ceremonies; armed forces bands and honor guards; the annual Great American Patriot Award presented by Armed Forces Insurance; and the Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America.
For additional information about the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, please visit ArmedForcesBowl.com, Facebook.com/ArmedForcesBowl or Twitter.com/ArmedForcesBowl.