The games are inventory for television programming, and even if the ratings are modest, almost any bowl will draw more eyeballs than something else, particularly on a weekday afternoon.
That’s why ESPN owns 14 bowls, and the network will add two more to its portfolio in the 2020 season even though viewership has trended mostly downward since the playoff era started in 2014.
“It’s an indication of college football’s strength that you could have games that really don’t matter between teams people don’t typically watch that can get over a million viewers,” Sports Media Watch editor Jon Lewis said. “There are diminishing returns, but there’s a long way to go before you would see a reduction. In fact, I doubt you’ll see a reduction any time soon. You might see other networks try to get into having their own bowl games.”
That is all.