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Disney Could Grab $700M From College Football Ads

  • Disney has sold out 90% of ad time for this season.
  • The Mouse signs 350 advertisers, including 36 new sponsors.
Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

The Walt Disney Co. is poised to reap a windfall from college football ad sales on ESPN and ABC this year.

This season’s coverage should generate well over $700 million in combined ad sales from more than 350 advertisers across Disney’s linear and digital networks, sources told Front Office Sports. 

Disney has sold roughly 90% of its college football inventory for the season and signed 36 new sponsors including Vrbo, DoorDash, and Old Dominion Freight Line. 

ABC/ESPN just posted its most-watched college football kickoff weekend since 2016, and many brands are paying for new, customized integrations.

  • Xfinity sponsored game action for ESPN’s Kickoff Week, while Allstate was the title sponsor of ABC’s Louisiana Kickoff.
  • Chick-fil-A returned as title sponsor for kickoff games on Saturday and Monday, while Mercedes-Benz again sponsored the Labor Day Kickoff show on ESPN’s digital properties. 
  • Capital One and Goodyear returned as presenting sponsors on Saturday nights.
  • The College Football Playoff National Championship will be presented by AT&T.

“No one can offer what we offer from a distribution standpoint for sports — but college football specifically,” said Jim Minnich, SVP of revenue and yield management for Disney Advertising Sales.

Mighty Mouse

Disney’s ABC and ESPN are the dominant networks for college football. 

On Kickoff Weekend, Disney, which commands roughly two-thirds of the college football viewing audience, offered 17 games across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU — drawing nearly 82% of all college football viewing.