It’s amusing to read Dennis Dodd’s “deary me, what can they do about it?” take on college football’s ongoing morphing from an attendance sport to a broadcast sport – hell, we geniuses at the blog here have discussed that topic for a while now – but this part isn’t funny:
The playoff games themselves are guaranteed ratings and financial winners. As mentioned, the four-team playoff has been priced at $500 million per season. Would an eight-team playoff be worth $1 billion? That’s where industry analyst say the game may reach the law of diminishing returns.
“How do you make it any bigger than it is?” Hollis said.
Finding the sweet spot where you grow the postseason just to the point where it doesn’t interfere with the value of the regular season – that’s the real trick for guys like Slive and Delany, isn’t it? Is there anything in Dodd’s article that makes you think they’re smart enough to calibrate things that finely? Remember, these are the same people who’ve led the way to college basketball’s regular season going in the crapper from a relevance standpoint and found that they’ve hit the ceiling on the size of the tourney field because TV won’t pay for more.
It sounds like they’ve hit the ceiling, period.
His “Four on the Floor” concept to open the 2013-14 college basketball season was scuttled in December. The logistics had been worked out — four games staggered 15 minutes part on the floor of Cowboys Stadium to replicate the NCAA tournament — but TV was the problem. Four separate networks to do the games could not be found.
I’m sure they’ll do better this time around. At least I’m sure that’s what they’re telling themselves.