Alabama running back Mark Ingram was not the only Heisman winner Saturday.
ESPN scored its top audience with the Heisman Trophy Presentation on Dec. 12, averaging a 4.1 household rating, 4.05 million households and just under 5.99 million viewers, according to Nielsen data.
Those numbers represent gains of 32% in ratings (from a 3.1), 32% in households (3.06 million) and 44% in viewers (4.15 million).
ESPN's coverage of The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards on Dec.10 at 7 p.m. also jumped to its best levels since 1996.The show notched a 33% gain in rating to a 0.9 average, 38% to 845,000 households and 48% in viewers to 1.08 million over the 2008 telecast.
The award shows cap a strong college football season for the sports programmer.
ESPN averaged a 2.2 household rating, 2.14 million households and 2.87 million viewers, advances of 10% from a 2.0 in 2008, 11% from 1.93 million from households and 12% from 2.56 million viewers.
For its part, ESPN2 experienced its most-viewed season ever, averaging 1.11 million households and 1.49 million viewers, upticks of 8% from 1.03 million and 11% from. 1.35 million viewers, respectively. ESPN2 averaged a 1.1 rating for both seasons.
ESPN's Saturday morning College GameDay posted its most-viewed season ever, averaging 1.71 million households, 2.03 million viewers and a 1.7 rating, increases of 14% (from 1.50 million), 12% (from 1.82 million) and 13% (from a 1.5), respectively. The previous high was set in 2007.