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West Virginia, Virginia Tech Rivalry Drew 1.6 Million Viewers

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Maybe regional rivalries aren’t dead. That’s at least what is looks like after seeing the viewership numbers for West Virginia’s 33-10 victory over Virginia Tech for the Black Diamond Trophy.

According to ESPN, 1.6 million viewers tuned in during the game and it peaked with two million viewers at from 9:00 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. This is the second game with big viewership numbers this season following West Virginia’s 38-31 loss to Pitt in the Backyard Brawl which averaged 3.152 million viewers, but also wasn’t the most watched game that night.

There’s many reasons for the large ratings that do go beyond the game itself. One was that the competition for viewership for the game was pretty scarce with West Virginia and Virginia Tech being the only power-five match-up that night. In addition to that, the NFL now does Thursday Night games on Amazon, making it more difficult for viewers to tune in for that.

Regardless, it was also the second most watched non-week one Thursday night college football game since 2017. That is more due to the nature of the rivalry and significance of the game than any other factors.

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