David 02 May 2007 from mediaweek ABC Reupping Saturday Prime College Football John Consoli College football on Saturday nights in prime time will return on ABC this fall, beginning Sept. 1 and continuing through Dec. 1, following a successful first-year run last season. ABC will also air two Nascar Nextel Cup races in prime time on Sept. 8 and Oct. 13. The network, in an agreement with sister cable network ESPN, which has the rights to the college games, moved them into broadcast prime time on Saturdays, replacing scripted programming, and the result was a household ratings boost of 24 percent over the previous year. The telecasts last season started out strong, and some weeks, depending on the matchups were softer then others, but overall the telecasts won the night on six Saturdays in households and demos. College football on Saturdays averaged a 5.0 household rating and 7.8 million total viewers per telecast, up from a 4.1 rating and 6.2 million viewers the previous year. In demos, Saturday Night Football drew a 2.7 rating among adults 18-49, 29 percent higher than the 2.1 in 2005 for scripted programming. Among men 18-34, it drew a 3.2 rating, up 68 percent from a 1.9. The addition of Saturday Night Football to our lineup gave sports fans access to great college football coverage, said Steve McPherson, ABC entertainment president. It also delivered a new audience for ABC, strengthening our schedule for Saturday and overall. Were glad to have this successful franchise back for the coming season, and hope to continue the partnership for a long time to come. The 12-week telecast season will open on Sept. 1 with the University of Tennessee vs. University of California, followed by USC vs. Nebraska on Sept. 15; and a split telecast of Washington State vs. USA and Iowa vs. Wisconsin on Sept. 22. On Oct. 6, Notre Dame will meet UCLA. Games on the other nights are still in a state of flux. But the network plans to show the Dr. Pepper Big 12 Championship Game on Dec. 1. Southwest Airlines will be the Saturday Night Football telecasts presenting sponsor. ABC, which will also begin televising Nascar Nextel Cup races in July, will televise races from Richmond on Sept. 8 and from Charlotte on Oct. 13, in prime time.