Monday, July 16, 2012

Might ESPN pay $600 million for college football playoffs?

ESPN to pay $80 million annually for Rose Bowl
Published on National Sports Journalism Center... | shared via feedly

ESPN will pay an average $80 million per year for the Rose Bowl through 2026, according to a SBJ report from Michael Smith and John Ourand.  The article cites industry experts who say that could push the cost for the bowl's media rights as high as $600 million for an all-in package that includes a championship game, two semifinals and four major bowls each season.
Original here.

Two quick observations:

That's a lot of money for a single bowl game. But it's likely that the to-be-minted Champions Bowl between the Southeastern Conference and Big 12 should attract a similar pay day.

The $600 million package deal for the championship playoff should be viewed with some skepticism and perhaps some alarm. Would ESPN be willing to go there? A $200 million payday for each of the three games seems pretty high.

The BCS conferences would certainly sign up for it, but with such a big carrot dangled by ESPN,  how much of a stick the Worldwide Leader would use to make sure that the four teams selected are programs ESPN wants to get into the mix?

Does anyone seriously believe that ESPN would shell out that kind of coin and let a selection committee pick a couple of teams from conferences with media partners not headquartered in Bristol?