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CFP Revenue Distribution To Reach $2B By 2027, Study Says

  • The College Football Playoff could dole out $2 billion annually to schools by 2027, the Knight Commission estimates.
  • It based the estimate on the upcoming media rights contract and the expanded College Football Playoff structure.
Georgia wide receiver Arian Smith (11) makes a catch off a pass from Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) during the second half of the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl NCAA College Football Playoff semifinal game between Ohio State and Georgia on Saturday, Dec 31, 2022, in Atlanta. Georgia won 42-41.
Joshua L. Jones / USA TODAY NETWORK

The College Football Playoff could dole out $2 billion annually to conferences by 2027, the Knight Commission estimated in a report presented on Tuesday. That would be $1.4 billion more than current distributions. 

Currently, the CFP provides an amount of around $600 million a year to predominantly FBS conferences. A small portion goes to FCS schools.

The distribution increases would be attributed to the expanded 12-team playoff structure beginning in 2024 and the assumption that the next media rights contract will rake in millions more than its current value. The media rights contract would be worth more even if there weren’t more than twice the inventory on the table.

The current deal with ESPN expires in 2026 (pays an average of $470 million annually) and could be worth up to $2.2 billion annually after the next round of negotiations, Front Office Sports reported last year. That could be partially due to the CFP selling rights to multiple networks in addition to the extra games.

The findings were part of a report where the Knight Commission, a longtime college reform advocacy group, advocated for changes to the NCAA and CFP revenue distribution models to better reflect the “values” of college sports, like gender equity and education. 

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