BSU football scores record TV ratings, attendance boost

December 15, 2008

The Ball State University victory over Central Michigan University Nov. 19, televised live on ESPN2 and seen in more than 1.6 million homes, ranks as the most-viewed and highest-rated college football game ever for a Tuesday or Wednesday night on the network. The game also ranks as the Mid-American Conference's most-viewed regular-season college football game ever on ESPN or ESPN2.

Earlier this year, the Sept. 5 ESPN televised game between Ball State and Navy was viewed in 1.2 million homes, making it the third-most-watched game involving a MAC team in the last four seasons. Due to the MAC contract with ESPN, and the Cardinals' stellar season, Ball State was on national television five times this season. Average attendance for BSU's six home games is up more than 10 percent this year, to almost 20,000 a game.

Ball State Athletic Director Tom Collins was quick to point out the football team's success has benefited the school beyond athletics.

"We used the weekend of the Navy game to publicly kick off our Ball State Bold Campaign," Collins said.

The $200 million capital campaign is intended primarily to raise money for academics, including scholarships, endowed chairs and professorships.

Patrick films Go Daddy TV commercials

Indy Racing League driver Danica Patrick recently finished filming a pair of Go Daddy TV commercials in Los Angeles that will air during Super Bowl XLIII on Feb. 1. The Arizona-based domain name registrar is one of Patrick's primary sponsors.

"They are both fun and edgy," Patrick said. "They are just what you would expect from GoDaddy.com. You're going to have to watch the Super Bowl to see them. I can't ruin the surprise."

The commercials still have to be approved by NBC-TV censors, who pulled Go Daddy commercials in 2005 after one airing due to what network officials called inappropriate content. Network officials refused to run one of Patrick's Go Daddy spots last year for the same reason.

"We have two options and they're both absolutely ... Go Daddy-esque," Go Daddy CEO and founder Bob Parsons said. "They are fun, edgy and slightly inappropriate. Surely network censors will have a sense of humor. People could use a good laugh these days."

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