ESPN Has $400M At Risk in College Football Playoffs

    • ESPN could lose around $400 million in ad revenue if there are more College Football Playoff cancellations.
    • Five bowl games have been canceled already.

Today's Action

All times are EST unless otherwise noted. Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.

The biggest loser of the College Football Playoffs could be ESPN.

The network could see up to $400 million in lost advertising revenue if key college football games are canceled. 

College football’s postseason brings in an estimated $350 million to $400 million each year for the Disney-owned network. However, five bowl games have been canceled so far, and with the Omicron variant of COVID-19 spreading quickly, it is possible that additional games, including the three final playoff matchups, could go as well.

  • ESPN is most of the way through a 12-year deal to air the tournament worth a reported $470 million per season. 
  • The deal includes the four-team playoff and six associated bowl games through 2025. 
  • Ratings for last year’s championship game dropped by 27%. The game, in which Alabama defeated Ohio State, was played in front of limited fans due to pandemic-related restrictions. 

Victory by Forfeit? 

The College Football Playoff management committee announced last week that teams would forfeit games if they do not have enough available players, and that makeup games would not be allowed. 

Should all four teams in the College Playoff Semifinals be ineligible to play by Jan. 15, the national championship will be declared vacant.