College Football’s $1.9 Billion TV Rights Opportunity

    • In the new proposal, the College Football Playoffs would go from four teams to 12.
    • Navigate Research predicts the proposed playoff could be worth about $1.9 billion annually in TV rights.

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The College Football Playoff committee meets on Thursday to decide whether to triple the amount of teams competing for a national championship.

Rather than earning a ticket to the playoffs by winning a conference title, the new 12-team proposal includes the six highest-ranked conference champions, as well as the other six highest-ranked teams.

There would be no limit to teams from one conference.

The new format could be a huge source of revenue for broadcasters and the schools themselves. 

  • Navigate Research predicts the proposed playoff could be worth about $1.9 billion annually in TV rights.
  • Teams from the Pac-12, which receive roughly $9 million annually from the playoff, would receive about $27 million per school.

In line with the usual 25% viewership increase with each playoff round, Navigate projects total viewers for the new playoff could reach 183 million

Alabama’s triumph over Ohio State in January brought in just 18.7 million viewers — the least-watched title game in CFP history. Each previous year saw an average of 28 million.

At this point, it’s unclear where media rights for the new games would land or how revenue would be directed among stakeholders.

“It’s the first step in a long process that won’t end before September,” said CFP executive director Bill Hancock.