We knew the ratings would be down. But not this far down.
Following Thursday’s College Football Playoff semifinals, reports have the ratings down more than a third from last year’s Rose and Sugar bowls.
Of course, ESPN takes the hit — but the self-proclaimed Worldwide Leader is the last group to blame for this. ESPN executives fought hard to move yesterday’s games to Jan. 2, but the CFP and the commissioners that run the organization wouldn’t budge. When that didn’t work, Disney shoehorned CFP mentions into every crevice of the House of Mouse they could find.
So while the ratings bloodbath ESPN took yesterday is a nice bit of I-told-you-so for the college football media (and the fans who care), there’s a good chance ESPN executives are hopping mad today — with good reason.
Sure, a pair of blowouts didn’t help, but that’s the crux of the issue: Jan. 1 is college football’s reserved day on the calendar. A large portion of this football-loving country is sticking around trough last night’s clunkers simply because that’s what this country does on New Year’s Eve. But when the action ceased to be compelling last night, America had no trouble finding something else to do.
The Power 5 commissioners and CFP executive director Bill Hancock‘s big gamble failed in its first year of implementation. But in the end it’s ESPN left holding the bag, which is why we’ll be doing this whole charade again next year.