12-Team College Football Playoff Could Be Worth $1.9 Billion A Year

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A potential College Football Playoff expansion would seemingly benefit everyone, and not just in terms of competition.

Per the San Jose Mercury News, college football’s revenue could triple under such a plan, which would increase the current format of four teams to 12. The Mercury News used the Pac-12 as an example.

“Pac-12 schools, which currently receive approximately $9 million annually from the playoff, could see that amount soar to $27 million per school per year, according to estimates by a data research company that has advised numerous Power Five conferences over the years,” the Mercury News wrote.

A plan to increase the CFP field could be approved as soon as June 22, a week from Tuesday. Last week, the CFP expansion committee revealed its preferred format of 12 teams and four rounds, with the six top programs of the 10 FBS conferences receiving automatic bids.

“Nothing is certain yet in terms of who will own certain rights to the new games and how revenue will flow to all of the different stakeholders,” said Matt Balvanz, senior vice president of analytics and innovation at Chicago-based firm Navigate, via the Mercury News.

“(But) it’s clear that this expansion will provide a massive financial lift to all (Power Five) football schools.”

As is always the case, television/broadcast rights are expected to play a major role in all this.

“The revenue projections provided to the Hotline by Navigate are based on 1) the CFP’s current contract with ESPN, 2) rising media rights valuations for live sports and 3) assumptions about viewership for an event that would expand from two rounds to four,” the Mercury News reported.

The 12-team format is awaiting approval from conference commissioners and university presidents. Both rulings are expected to come within the next week.


Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and NBA.com, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side, FortyEightMinutes.com.


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    • For the first couple of years, it wouldn’t surprise me. However with the “retirement” of the worst commissioner in the history all of sports soon to be gone, the PAC-12 has no place to go but up. The PAC will have a couple of years to get it’s act together, before the 12 team playoff takes place. We’ll see.

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