Hope you enjoyed the first College Football National Playoff Championship game, and congratulations to Ohio State on becoming National Champions.

College football could be making so much more money, but their current four team setup is not maximizing profit. Find out all the details by this Forbes article by Brian Goff.

College Football Losing Out On $250 Million With Four-Team Playoff Setup

Monday’s NCAA FBS National Championship game between Oregon and Ohio State will likely draw over 30 million viewers. The semifinal games played on New Year’s Day at the Rose Bowl (Oregon-Florida State) and Sugar Bowl (Ohio State-Alabama) pulled in over 28 million viewers each. As a reference point, these viewership stand eye-to-eye with the best NFL Sunday night telecasts and the Sunday Wild Card NFL Playoff games, which are some of the most watched shows all year on television.

These figures raise the question as to how much money is big-time college football leaving on the table by limiting its playoffs to the current 4-team, semifinal-final setup rather than going to an 8-team framework? At the top end, the schools may be leaving $250 million to $300 million behind each year. ESPN reportedly paid around $500 million per year for the current 3 playoff games along with 4 other “BCS” bowls games. (Those figures may also be minimums that can go up with higher viewership).

If ESPN is willing to pay nearly $500 million for two playoff levels and a few add-on games, it isn’t unreasonable to estimate that that the TV contract might increase by around half the current amount, and that doesn’t include revenues at the stadium or from merchandising. A quarterfinals level might draw lower viewership per game, but there would be 4 games at that level instead of one or two.

Besides the lost revenue, an ESPN poll showed that more than 60 percent of FBS coaches favor expanding the format. So should we expect a shift right away? Probably not. A minor obstacle is that the current contract with ESPN covers 12 years, but one would expect that a renegotiated deal could by worked out without too much trouble.