Big news: The college football playoff may expand from 4 to 12 teams as early as the 2023 season.
Why this matters: The four-team playoff has been a success over the past 7 years. One drawback has been 71% of spots going to four teams (Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, and Oklahoma). This move increase teams by 200% (4 to 12) and the number of games by 267% (3 to 11).
Estimated annual media rights by round (per game) according to Awful Announcing:
1) Semifinal and Championship – $760M ($253M X 3)
2) Quarterfinals – $320M ($80M X 4)
3) Opening round – $200M ($50M X 4)
4) Total – $1.3B ($116M X 11)
Key details for potential expanded playoff:
1) 4 rounds
2) 11 games
3) 2023 at the earliest
4) 183M estimate for total viewers
Quick math on ESPN College Football Rights:
1) ESPN subscribers – 86M
2) Annual cost to air college football playoff – $608M
3) ESPN is paying $7.15 per year for each subscriber to watch the college football playoff
4) That breaks down to $2.38 per game
Interesting thought: If ESPN chose to keep rights for the entire playoff, would they move one of the games to ESPN+ to drive subscriber growth?