CU football team sets ESPN record, sells out all home games for first time in school history

Deion Sanders, Shilo Sanders
David Zalubowski/AP
Colorado head coach Deion Sanders, right, hugs his son, safety Shilo Sanders, after he returned an interception for a touchdown in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Colorado State Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, in Boulder, Colo.

For the first time in university history, all Colorado home football games have been sold out. The historic first comes amid national buzz brought on by the arrival of new football head coach Deion Sanders, who has led the Buffs to an undefeated start thus far.

And the team's latest win, a 43-35 double-overtime victory against Colorado State, drew 9.3 million viewers – making it the most-watched late-night college football game in ESPN history, according to the network.

Sanders' Colorado Buffs did not kick off until after 10 p.m. Eastern and did not secure the victory until about 2:30 a.m.

Still, it was ESPN's fifth most-watched regular-season game ever on the network for any time slot. That broadcast window for ESPN college football averaged about 1.7 million viewers last year, the network said.

“This is incredible,” Sanders said. “The kids are getting eyeballs, they’re getting viewers.”

No. 19 Colorado's first two games under Sanders were carried by Fox, with both slotted into the network's Big Noon game. The Buffaloes' victories over TCU and Nebraska averaged about 8 million viewers for Fox.

Meanwhile, Colorado safety Shilo Sanders was the Pac-12 defensive player of the week for returning an interception 80 yards for a score and forcing a fumble.

Colorado faces No. 10 Oregon on Saturday in a game scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on ABC.