NEW YORK (AP) — The preliminary television rating for the BCS title game is down 12 percent from last year.

Auburn’s last-second 22-19 win over Oregon on Monday night drew a 16.1 overnight rating on ESPN. Last season’s Alabama-Texas game earned an 18.2 on Fox, which is available in about 15 percent more homes.

This year’s ratings were also hurt by a matchup of two programs with less tradition and national appeal than a year ago.

In the game’s first year on cable, it drew the highest cable overnight rating since records began being kept in 2001. The previous high was a 14.4 for last season’s Patriots-Saints “Monday Night Football” game on ESPN.

The 16.1 beat two recent BCS titles games: a 15.6 for LSU-Ohio State in 2008 and a 14.6 for USC-Oklahoma in 2005.

Ratings represent the percentage of all homes with televisions tuned into a program. Overnight ratings measure the country’s largest markets.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

pixy Early BCS Championship Ratings Down 12 Percent

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